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Business Cycle Synchronization in the Euro Area and the Impact of the Financial Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Gächter

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Aleksandra Riedl

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

Abstract

The extent of synchronization of national business cycles is a widespread indicator for gauging whether individual countries are indeed ready to adopt a common currency. The occurrence of asymmetric shocks and their consequences in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) may hamper implementation of monetary policy, as such shocks may significantly raise the cost of the single monetary policy for individual countries. This study analyzes whether the synchronization pattern of business cycles in the euro area has systematically changed since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008. Country-specific differences in the terms of trade and fiscal imbalances may have caused the global shock to affect euro area countries asymmetrically. Conversely, the business cycles of individual countries may have become more closely synchronized, as all countries slipped into recession at the same time. For the purpose of this study we use empirical data to establish which of the two effects dominates. The results of the analysis show a pronounced desynchronization of business cycles during the crisis period, both with respect to dispersion and to the correlation of business cycles. Moreover, interesting differences and parallels may be observed between the developments since the beginning of the most recent financial crisis and an earlier period, around 2004, when the output gap in the euro area was negative as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gächter & Aleksandra Riedl & Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald, 2012. "Business Cycle Synchronization in the Euro Area and the Impact of the Financial Crisis," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 33-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2012:i:2:b:2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Keywords: business cycles; European Monetary Union; convergence; financial crisis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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