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Real Exchange Rate Adjustment, Wage-Setting Institutions, and Fiscal Stabilization Policy: Lessons of the Eurozone's First Decade

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  • Wendy Carlin

Abstract

In terms of macroeconomic performance, the Eurozone's first decade is a story of successful inflation-targeting by the ECB for the common currency area as a whole combined with the persistence of real exchange rate and current account disequilibria at member country level. According to the standard New Keynesian (NK) model of a small member of a currency union, policy intervention at country level is not necessary to ensure adjustment to country-specific shocks. Self-stabilization of shocks takes place through the adjustment of prices and wages to ensure that the real exchange rate returns to equilibrium. That this did not happen in the Eurozone appears to be related to the presence of non-rational wage setters in a number of member countries. A related second departure from the NK model was the transmission of non-rational inflation expectations to the real interest rate, propagating easy credit conditions in countries with inflation above target. Problems of real exchange rate misalignment among members were exacerbated by the ability of Germany's wage-setting institutions to deliver self-stabilization. The implications for policy focus on using fiscal policy to target the real exchange rate and/or on reforms to labour markets that deliver real exchange rate oriented wage setting. (JEL codes: E61, E62, E65, F41, O52) Copyright The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

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  • Wendy Carlin, 2013. "Real Exchange Rate Adjustment, Wage-Setting Institutions, and Fiscal Stabilization Policy: Lessons of the Eurozone's First Decade," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(3), pages 489-519, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:59:y:2013:i:3:p:489-519
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    Cited by:

    1. Mirella Damiani & Milica Uvalic, 2014. "Industrial Development in the EU: What Lessons for the Future Member States?," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 16(1), pages 5-48, April.
    2. Hope, David, 2016. "Estimating the effect of the EMU on current account balances: A synthetic control approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 20-40.
    3. Benedicta Marzinotto, 2017. "Euro area macroeconomic imbalances and their asymmetric reversal: the link between financial integration and income inequality," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 34(1), pages 83-104, April.
    4. Andrea Boltho & Wendy Carlin, 2013. "EMU's Problems: Asymmetric Shocks or Asymmetric Behavior?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 55(3), pages 387-403, September.
    5. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Martinez Oliva, Juan Carlos, 2015. "The importance of trade and capital imbalances in the European debt crisis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 229-252.
    6. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Uta Sch?nberg & Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2014. "From Sick Man of Europe to Economic Superstar: Germany's Resurgent Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 167-188, Winter.
    7. Daniel Agyapong & Anokye M. Adam, 2012. "Exchange Rate Behaviour: Implication for West African Monetary Zone," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 2(4), pages 215-228, October.
    8. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2013. "Origins and prospects of the Euro existential crisis," DEM Discussion Papers 2013/03, Department of Economics and Management.
    9. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2012. "A Germans� dilemma: save the euro or preserve their socio-economic model," Department of Economics Working Papers 1207, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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