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An Export-Based Measure of Competitiveness

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Gächter

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Hanno Lorenz

    (University of Vienna)

  • Paul Ramskogler

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

  • Maria Antoinette Silgoner

    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

Abstract

Unit labor cost (ULC) developments have been receiving increased attention from policymakers throughout the euro area, as adverse developments in price competitiveness are commonly seen as one of the causes of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the euro area. Yet empirical results are often ambiguous on the link between ULC developments and export performance. This widely examined empirical conundrum, often referred to as “Kaldor paradox,” naturally raises the question whether commonly used measures of ULC growth (such as total economy ULC) are a meaningful measure of mounting imbalances and persistent losses of trade competitiveness. Therefore, we propose a new ULC growth index that exploits disaggregated sectoral information and focuses on export-relevant sectors only. This trade-weighted ULC index is shown to have a substantially higher explanatory power for export growth than traditional ULC measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gächter & Hanno Lorenz & Paul Ramskogler & Maria Antoinette Silgoner, 2013. "An Export-Based Measure of Competitiveness," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 75-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbmp:y:2013:i:2:b:4
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carlin, Wendy & Glyn, Andrew & Van Reenen, John, 2001. "Export Market Performance of OECD Countries: An Empirical Examination of the Role of Cost Competitiveness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 128-162, January.
    2. Andrés Maroto Sanchez & Luis Rubalcaba Bermejo, 2006. "Competitiveness and the Kaldor Paradox: The case of Spanish Service Sector," Working Papers 06/06, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.
    3. Aránzazu Crespo Rodríguez & Gabriel Pérez-Quirós & Rubén Segura Cayuela, 2012. "Competitiveness indicators: the importance of an efficient allocation of resources," Economic Bulletin, Banco de España, issue JAN, pages 1-9, January.
    4. Gaulier, G. & Vicard, V., 2012. "Évolution des déséquilibres courants dans la zone euro : choc de compétitivité ou choc de demande ?," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 189, pages 47-64.
    5. Luca ONORANTE & Gianluigi FERRUCCI & Rebeca JIMÉNEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, 2010. "Food Price Pass-Through in the Euro Area: the Role of Asymmetries and Non-Linearities," EcoMod2010 259600125, EcoMod.
    6. Zsolt Darvas, 2012. "Compositional effects on productivity, labour cost and export adjustments," Policy Contributions 730, Bruegel.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lommatzsch, Kirsten & Silgoner, Maria A. & Ramskogler, Paul, 2016. "Trade in value added: Do we need new measures of competitiveness?," Discussion Papers 52/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. repec:ecb:ecbops:2012163 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Osbat, Chiara & Zollino, Francesco & Aiello, Giovanni & Bluhm, Benjamin & Buelens, Christian & Cavallini, Flavia & Joseph, Andreas & Leonte, Alexandru & Lommatzsch, Kirsten & Momchilov, Georgi & Giord, 2015. "Compendium on the diagnostic toolkit for competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 163, European Central Bank.
    4. Thomas Leoni, 2017. "Entwicklung und Struktur der Arbeitskosten und der Lohnstückkosten 2000 bis 2015. Ein kommentierter Datenüberblick," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 60586, June.
    5. Nikolay Hristov, 2016. "The Ifo DSGE Model for the German Economy," ifo Working Paper Series 210, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unit labor costs; competitiveness; export growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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