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Adjustment in the Euro Area and Regulation of Product and Labour Markets: An Empirical Assessment

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  • Pietro Biroli
  • Gilles Mourre
  • Alessandro Turrini

Abstract

This paper assesses the adjustment mechanism in the euro area. Results show that the real exchange rate (REER) adjusts in such a way to redress cyclical divergences and that after monetary unification REER dynamics have become less reactive to country-specific shocks but also less persistent. It is found that regulations, notably affecting price and wage nominal flexibility and employment protection, play a role in the adjustment mechanism. Indicators of product and labour regulations appear to matter forboth the reaction of price competitiveness to cyclical divergences (differences between national and euro-area output gaps) and for the inertia of competitiveness indicators. Moreover, regulations appear to matter also for the extent to which common shocks may end up producing country-specific effects on the price competitiveness, as revealed by their interaction with proxies of unobservable common shocks along the lines of the methodology developed in Blanchard and Wolfers (2000). In light of the tendency towards less stringent regulations in past decades, the results seem consistent with the observed reduction in the persistence of inflation differentials, and has have implications for the design of adjustment-friendly product and labour market reforms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 428.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0428

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  1. S. Fabiana & M. Druant & I. Hernando & C. Kwapil & B. Landau & C. Loupias & F. Martins & T. Math� & R. Sabbatini & H. Stahl & A. Stokman, 2005. "The Pricing Behaviour of Firms in the Euro Area New Survey Evidence," DNB Working Papers 058, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Paul Conway & Véronique Janod & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2005. "Product Market Regulation in OECD Countries: 1998 to 2003," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 419, OECD Publishing.
  3. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
  4. Alfonso Arpaia & Karl Pichelmann, 2007. "Nominal and real wage flexibility in EMU," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 299-328, November.
  5. Andrea Bassanini & Romain Duval, 2006. "Employment Patterns in OECD Countries: Reassessing the Role of Policies and Institutions," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
  6. Holden, Steinar & Wulfsberg, Fredrik, 2005. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the OECD," Memorandum 10/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Steinar Holden, 2002. "The Costs of Price Stability - Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe," NBER Working Papers 8865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  9. Romain Duval & Jørgen Elmeskov & Lukas Vogel, 2007. "Structural Policies and Economic Resilience to Shocks," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 567, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Larch, Martin & Van den Noord, Paul & Jonung, Lars, 2010. "The stability and growth pact: lessons from the great recession," MPRA Paper 27900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Hanan Morsy & Florence Jaumotte, 2012. "Determinants of Inflation in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 12/37, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "Wearing corset, losing shape: The euro's effect on trade imbalances," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-155.
  4. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2010. "The Euro’s Effecton Trade Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 10/226, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Moretti, Laura, 2014. "The determinants of inflation differentials in the euro area," CFS Working Paper Series 451, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Vogel, Lukas, 2012. "Structural reforms, fiscal consolidation and external rebalancing in monetary union: A model-based analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1286-1298.

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