The demand for euros
This paper investigates the demand for euros using panel data for 10 euro area countries covering the period from 1999 to 2008. Monetary aggregates are constructed to ensure that money is a national concept by excluding deposits owned by non-residents and including external deposits owned by residents. Initial estimates of a standard money demand function yield income elasticities which are high in comparison with what is typically found in the literature. We next expand the money demand function with four wealth and uncertainty variables, of which housing prices is the most significant one. The inclusion of housing prices in the panel regression reduces the income elasticity to around one. Country-specific developments in housing prices are also able to explain part of the monetary overhang in the euro area since 2005. We conclude that housing price developments within the euro area are relevant to an understanding of the demand for euros, and thus warrant close attention by policymakers at the ECB.
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