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Estimating the costs and benefits of EMU: The impact of external shocks on labour markets

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  • Ansgar Belke
  • Daniel Gros

Abstract

Discussions of the economic costs and benefits of EMU usually take as their basis the optimum currency area (OCA) approach. This approach starts from the premise that when an external shock hits the economy, it is easier to adjust the exchange rate than domestic prices or wages. Most economists accept the general idea behind this approach, namely that nominal wages are usually sticky in the shortrun and that it is therefore easier to adjust to external shocks and obtain changes in the real exchange rate or the terms of trade through a movement in the exchange rate. But there is little agreement on how important these "external" shocks are in reality. We try to measure the importance of external shocks for (un)employment. We find that external shocks have little impact on unemployment, but are more important in the evolution of employment in manufacturing. The results differ, however, strongly from country to country and for about half of EU member countries we did not find any significant relationship. Taking into account various potential shock absorbers (exchange rate movements, fiscal and monetary policy) does not affect the results. We conclude that the loss of the exchange rate instrument will not lead to massive unemployment problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv.

Volume (Year): 135 (1999)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-47

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:135:y:1999:i:1:p:1-47

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Keywords: E24; E52; F41;

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References

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  1. De Grauwe, Paul & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 1991. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area? Evidence from Regional Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beckmann, Rainer & Eppendorfer, Carsten & Neimke, Markus, 2002. "Deepening European Financial Integration: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evaluation of Growth and Employment Benefits," MPRA Paper 5272, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zenon Kontolemis & Kevin Ross, 2005. "Exchange Rate Fluctuations in the New Member States of the European Union," Macroeconomics 0504015, EconWPA.
  3. Belke, Ansgar & Gros, Daniel, 2007. "Instability of the Eurozone? On Monetary Policy, House Prices and Labor Market Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 2547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Grubel, Herbert, 2005. "Small country benefits from monetary union," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 509-523, June.
  5. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2007. "Reforms, Exchange Rates and Monetary Commitment: A Panel Analysis for OECD Countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 369-388, July.
  6. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2005. "Structural Reforms and the Exchange Rate Regime A Panel Analysis for the World versus OECD Countries," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 263/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  7. Grubel, Herbert G., 2000. "The merit of a Canada-US monetary union," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 19-40, August.
  8. Clement van de Coevering, 2003. "Structural convergence and monetary integration in Europe," MEB Series (discontinued) 2003-20, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
  9. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2006. "Beyond Trade – Is Reform Effort Affected by the Exchange Rate Regime? A Panel Analysis for the World versus OECD Countries," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 107, pages 29-58.
  10. Ansgar Belke & Martin Hebler, 2002. "Towards a European Social Union: Impacts on Labor Markets in the Acceding Countries," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 313-335, December.
  11. Beckmann, Rainer & Eppendorfer, Carsten & Neimke, Markus, 2002. "Financial integration within the European Union: Towards a single market for insurance," MPRA Paper 5280, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Ansgar Belke & Bernhard Herz & Lukas Vogel, 2006. "Are Monetary Rules and Reforms Complements or Substitutes? A Panel Analysis for the World versus OECD Countries," Working Papers 129, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).

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