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Estimating the Costs and Benefits of EMU: The Impact of External Shocks on Labour Markets

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  • Belke, A.
  • Gros, D.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1997-95.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199795

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: exchange rates; export demand; external shocks; optimal currency area; (un)employment;

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References

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Economic Structure and the Decision to Adopt a Common Currency," Seminar Papers 611, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Melitz, Jacques, 1995. "The current impasse in research on optimum currency areas," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 492-500, April.
  3. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "Macroeconomic Policy in the Presence of Structural Maladjustment," NBER Working Papers 5739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Baxter, Marianne, 1995. "International trade and business cycles," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1801-1864 Elsevier.
  6. Rose, Andrew K, 1995. "After the Deluge: Do Fixed Exchange Rates Allow Inter-temporal Volatility Trade-offs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1240, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Belke, Ansgar & Gocke, Matthias, 1999. "A Simple Model of Hysteresis in Employment under Exchange Rate Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(3), pages 260-86, August.
  9. Decressin, Jörg & Fatás, Antonio, 1994. "Regional Labour Market Dynamics in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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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  13. Baxter, M., 1994. "International Trade and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 390, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Baxter, Marianne & Stockman, Alan C., 1989. "Business cycles and the exchange-rate regime : Some international evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 377-400, May.
  15. Belke, A. & Gros, D., 1998. "Evidence on the Costs of Intra-European Exchange Rate Variability," Discussion Paper 1998-14, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. Burgess, Simon M & Knetter, Michael M, 1998. "An International Comparison of Employment Adjustment to Exchange Rate Fluctuations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 151-63, February.
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  18. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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  20. Carlin, Wendy & Soskice, David, 1990. "Macroeconomics and the Wage Bargain: A Modern Approach to Employment, Inflation, and the Exchange Rate," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198772446, October.
  21. Khalid Sekkat, 1998. "Exchange rate variability and EU trade," European Economy - Economic Papers 127, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Zenon Kontolemis & Kevin Ross, 2005. "Exchange Rate Fluctuations in the New Member States of the European Union," Macroeconomics 0504015, EconWPA.
  3. 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).
  4. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:129:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Grubel, Herbert, 2005. "Small country benefits from monetary union," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 509-523, June.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.

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