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Trends in European Productivity and Real Exchange Rates: Implications for the Maastricht Convergence Criteria and for Inflation Targets after EMU

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  • Canzoneri, Matthew B
  • Diba, Behzad
  • Fudey, Gwen

Abstract

While overall inflation has fallen dramatically in countries like Italy and Spain, inflation in the home good sector remains stubbornly higher than inflation in the traded good sector. If nominal exchange rates are fixed, these real appreciations imply an inflation differential with countries like Germany. We first show that the real appreciations can be explained largely by differences in productivity trends across the traded and non-traded goods sectors. We then analyse the implications of the trends in productivity for the consistency of the Maastricht convergence criteria, and we discuss the pressure productivity trends put on monetary policy in countries like Italy and Spain to meet the convergence criteria; we also discuss steps that might be taken to change the trends in productivity. Lastly, we calculate the implications of current trends in productivity for the differences in regional inflation under a common currency. Comparisons are made with regional productivity trends in the United States.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1417.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1417

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Keywords: Inflation; Maastricht Treaty; Productivity;

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Cited by:
  1. Václav Žďárek & Jaromír Šindel, 2007. "Real and Nominal Convergence and the New EU Member States - Actual State and Implications," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2007(3), pages 195-219.
  2. Václav Žďárek, 2009. "Challenges for the new EU member states on the road to the Eurozone," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 157-177, July.
  3. Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego & Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo & García, Juan Angel, 2003. "Relevant economic issues concerning the optimal rate of inflation," Working Paper Series 0278, European Central Bank.
  4. Peter Backé & Jarko Fidrmuc & Thomas Reininger & Franz Schardax, 2002. "Price Dynamics in Central and Eastern European EU Accession," Working Papers 61, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  5. Matthew Canzoneri & Robert Cumby & Behzad Diba & Gwen Eudey, 1998. "Trends in European Productivity: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates and Inflation Differentials," Working Papers 27, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  6. MacDonald, Ronald & Wójcik, Cezary, 2008. "Catching-up and inflation differentials in a heterogeneous monetary union: Some implications for the euro area and new EU Member States," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 4-16, March.
  7. Lafrance, Robert & St-Amant, Pierre, 2000. "Les zones monétaires optimales," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 76(4), pages 577-612, décembre.

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