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The Inflation Target of the ECB: Does the Balassa-Samuelson Effect Matter?

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  • Kirsten Lommatzsch
  • Silke Tober

Abstract

This paper argues that the Balassa-Samuelson effect is not of importance for the inflation target of the ECB. First, econometric tests of the Balassa-Samuelson effect suggest that its econometric significance is weak at best. Second, countries in the process of catching up require a real devaluation in the sector of tradable goods to maintain balance-of-payments equilibrium which counters the real appreciation resulting from a relative increase in service prices. It follows that whereas the Balassa-Samuelson effect could, at least in theory, be used to justify an inflation target well above zero, thedifference in productivity growth and thus the difference in the size of the Balassa-Samuelson effect between countries as such cannot.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 19.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0136

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Keywords: European Central Bank; EMU; international trade;

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References

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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson & Stefan Gerlach, 2001. "Money and inflation in the Euro Area: A case for monetary indicators?," BIS Working Papers 98, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Mark A. Wynne & Diego Rodriguez-Palenzuela, 2002. "Measurement bias in the HICP: what do we know and what do we need to know?," Working Papers 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. John H. Rogers & Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Erika Wada, 2001. "Price Level Convergence and Inflation in Europe," Working Paper Series WP01-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Artis, Michael J & Kontolemis, Zenon G & Mizen, Paul D, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: What can the ECB Learn from the Recent Experience of the Bank of England," CEPR Discussion Papers 1941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jose De Gregorio & Alberto Giovannini, 1993. "International Evidence on Tradables and Nontradable Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  7. Canzoneri, Matthew, et al, 2002. "Productivity Trends in Europe: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates, and Inflation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 497-516, August.
  8. International Monetary Fund, 2002. "Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies of the Euro Area," IMF Staff Country Reports 02/236, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Hans-Werner Sinn & Michael Reutter, 2001. "The Minimum Inflation Rate for Euroland," NBER Working Papers 8085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Paul De Grauwe, 2002. "Challenges for Monetary Policy in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 693-718, November.
  11. 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).
  12. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2000. "International Experiences with Different Monetary Policy Regimes," NBER Working Papers 7044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jose De Gregorio & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Terms of Trade, Productivity, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 4807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. DeLoach, Stephen B, 2001. "More Evidence in Favor of the Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 336-42, May.
  15. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  16. Lommatzsch, Kirsten & Tober, Silke, 2004. "What is behind the real appreciation of the accession countries' currencies?: An investigation of the PPI-based real exchange rate," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 383-403, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Egert, Balazs, 2005. "Equilibrium exchange rates in South Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey: Healthy or (Dutch) diseased?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 205-241, June.
  2. Kirsten Lommatzsch & Balazs Egert & Amina Lahreche-Revil, 2005. "The Stock-Flow Approach to the Real Exchange Rate of CEE Transition Economies:," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 14, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Ulrich Fritsche & Camille Logeay & Kirsten Lommatzsch & Katja Rietzler & Sabine Stephan & Rudolf Zwiener unter Mitarb. von Cansel Kiziltepe & Christian Proano-Acosta, 2005. "Auswirkungen von länderspezifischen Differenzen in der Lohn-, Preisniveau- und Produktivitätsentwicklung auf Wachstum und Beschäftigung in den Ländern des Euroraums: Endbericht ; Forschungsprojekt," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 8, number pbk8, July.
  4. Christian Proaño Acosta, 2007. "Inflation Differentials and Business Cycle Fluctuations in the European Monetary Union," IMK Working Paper 05-2007, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  5. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Jarko Fidrmuc & Maria Antoinette Silgoner, 2004. "Exchange Rate Developments and Fundamentals in Four EU Accession and Candidate Countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 119-137.

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