IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sacrifice ratio dispersion within the Euro Zone: what can be learned about implementing a single monetary policy?


  • Jean-Jacques Durand
  • Marilyne Huchet-Bourdon
  • Julien Licheron


This article focuses on the comparison of sacrifice ratios as an indicator for structural dispersion within the euro area over the period 1972-2003. Estimates of the sacrifice ratio, defined as the cumulative output cost arising from permanent inflation reduction, are obtained using structural VAR models. Results from sub-period analysis as well as 10-year-period rolling estimates lead to two main conclusions. First, empirical evidence displays a recent increase in the average sacrifice ratio, which can be linked to the simultaneous decrease in the average inflation rate: this negative relationship between the initial level of inflation and the cost of disinflation can be seen as a justification for the choice of an inflation objective close to 2% for the European Central Bank (ECB) rather than a target of perfect price stability, potentially very damaging. Second, we cannot provide evidence of any reduction in European sacrifice ratio dispersion, which would suggest that the nominal convergence triggered by the Maastricht Treaty did not involve a true reduction of structural differences. It is likely to be a problem in the stance of a single monetary policy, because structural differences imply asymmetric responses of real national economies to the same monetary impulse.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Jacques Durand & Marilyne Huchet-Bourdon & Julien Licheron, 2008. "Sacrifice ratio dispersion within the Euro Zone: what can be learned about implementing a single monetary policy?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 601-621.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:5:p:601-621
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170802287672

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    2. Okun, Arthur M, 1978. "Efficient Disinflationary Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 348-352, May.
    3. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2002. "The NAIRU in Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 115-136, Fall.
    5. W. Wascher & Palle S. Andersen, 1999. "Sacrifice ratios and the conduct of monetary policy in conditions of low inflation," BIS Working Papers 82, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Andrew J. Filardo, 1998. "New evidence on the output cost of fighting inflation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III.
    7. Laurence Ball, 1999. "Aggregate demand and Long-Run Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 189-252.
    8. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Rich, Robert W, 2001. "Structural Estimates of the U.S. Sacrifice Ratio," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 416-427, October.
    9. Robert J. Gordon & Stephen R. King, 1982. "The Output Cost of Disinflation in Traditional and Vector Autoregressive Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 205-244.
    10. Christopher J. Neely & Christopher J. Waller, 1997. "A Benefit-Cost Analysis Of Disinflation," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 50-64, January.
    11. Juncal Cunnado & Fernando PErez De Gracia, 2003. "Sacrifice Ratios: Some lessons from EMU countries, 1960-2001," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 327-337.
    12. Camille Logeay & Silke Tober, 2006. "Hysteresis And The Nairu In The Euro Area," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(4), pages 409-429, September.
    13. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "Stopping moderate inflations: the methods of Poincaré and Thatcher," Working Papers 1, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    15. Laurence Boone & Benoît Mojon, 1998. "Sacrifice Ratios in Europe: a Comparison," Working Papers 1998-07, CEPII research center.
    16. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "The persistence of inflation and the cost of disinflation," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 3-16.
    17. Thomas Jordan, 1997. "Disinflation costs, accelerating inflation gains, and central bank independence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 1-21, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0520 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2012. "Disinflation in a DSGE perspective: Sacrifice ratio or welfare gain ratio?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 169-182.
    3. Coffinet, J., 2006. "Ratios de sacrifice et rigidités sur le marché du travail," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 151, pages 59-73.
    4. Ansgar Belke & Tobias Böing, 2014. "Sacrifice Ratios for Euro Area Countries: New Evidence on the Costs of Price Stability," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 47(4), pages 455-471, December.
    5. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2013. "Disinflation effects in a medium-scale New Keynesian model: Money supply rule versus interest rate rule," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 77-100.
    6. Dieppe, Alistair & Ortega, Eva & D'Agostino, Antonello & Karlsson, Tohmas & Benkovskis, Konstantins & Caivano, Michele & Hurtado, Samuel & Várnai, Tímea, 2011. "Assessing the sensitivity of inflation to economic activity," Working Paper Series 1357, European Central Bank.
    7. Jérôme Coffinet & Céline Poilly, 2009. "Une évaluation structurelle du ratio de sacrifice dans la zone euro," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 119(2), pages 273-299.
    8. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2008. " Sacrifice Ratio or Welfare Gain Ratio? Disinflation in a DGSE monetary model," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0806, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    9. Ansgar Belke & Tobias Böing, 2014. "Sacrifice Ratios for Euro Area Countries – New Evidence on the Costs of Price Stability," Ruhr Economic Papers 0520, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Sandeep Mazumder, 2014. "European Monetary Union and the Cost of Disinflation," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 19(2), pages 1-20, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:5:p:601-621. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.