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To converge or not converge: unit labor cost inflation in the Euro area

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  • Helmut Herwartz

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  • Florian Siedenburg
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    Abstract

    In this article, convergence of unit labor cost (ULC) inflation within the Euro area is tested by means of panel unit root tests. To account for the small cross-sectional dimension, cross-sectional dependence of model innovations and time varying volatility, wild bootstrap critical values are employed for inference. Convergence is tested separately for pre- and post-Euro introduction subperiods. Moreover, we identify particular economies that are characterized by diverging ULC inflation after the introduction of the Euro. While the German economy is characterized by ULC inflation which is persistently below the sample average, Spain and Italy have suffered sustained losses of price competitiveness against their trading partners within the Euro area. ULC inflation in Finland, France, and Ireland can be classified as neutral with respect to relative competitive positions. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00181-011-0535-3
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 44 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 455-467

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:44:y:2013:i:2:p:455-467

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    Related research

    Keywords: Unit labor costs; β-Convergence; Panel unit root tests; Wild bootstrap; C23; C12; F40;

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    1. Jörg Breitung & Samarjit Das, 2005. "Panel unit root tests under cross-sectional dependence," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 59(4), pages 414-433.
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    8. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
    9. Busetti, Fabio & Forni, Lorenzo & Harvey, Andrew & Venditti, Fabrizio, 2006. "Inflation convergence and divergence within the European Monetary Union," Working Paper Series 0574, European Central Bank.
    10. Cavaliere, Giuseppe & Taylor, A.M. Robert, 2008. "Bootstrap Unit Root Tests For Time Series With Nonstationary Volatility," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(01), pages 43-71, February.
    11. Kim, Tae-Hwan & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 2002. "Unit root tests with a break in innovation variance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 365-387, August.
    12. Fischer, Christoph, 2007. "An assessment of the trends in international price competitiveness among EMU countries," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    13. Jönsson, Kristian, 2003. "Cross-sectional dependency and size distortion in a small-sample homogeneous panel-data unit root test," Working Papers 2003:10, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    14. Sebastian Dullien & Ulrich Fritsche, 2007. "Does the Dispersion of Unit Labor Cost Dynamics in the EMU Imply Long-run Divergence? Results from a Comparison with the United States of America and Germany," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 200702, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
    15. Herwartz, H. & Siedenburg, F., 2008. "Homogenous panel unit root tests under cross sectional dependence: Finite sample modifications and the wild bootstrap," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 137-150, September.
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