IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The enlargement of the euro area: differences in relative inflation


  • Lukasz Rawdanowicz


This paper investigates the structural determinants of relative inflation (i.e. the inflation of non-tradables vs tradables) in the context of overall inflation differentials in the EU. The analysis is based on the Bergstrand theoretical model. This framework incorporates three alternative hypotheses of relative inflation (Harrod-Balassa-Samuelson, relative factors endowment, and demand effects). Due to the lack of reliable data on capital stocks only a curtailed version of the model is tested here empirically. The various specifications of the model are estimated for the majority of EU countries, using the Pedroni panel group mean FMOLS estimator. In general, relative labour productivity and demand factors turn out to be significant and correctly signed, though evidence in favour of the latter effect seems to be less robust. In addition, differences in the determination of relative prices between the new and old EU Member States are found. They seem to be consistent with theoretical considerations and the transition phenomenon. The estimation results are very sensitive to the definition of non-tradables. The paper also discusses policy implications for overall inflation, stemming from relative price models. It questions the usefulness of relative inflation models for the analysis of overall inflation differentials and practical policy decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lukasz Rawdanowicz, 2008. "The enlargement of the euro area: differences in relative inflation," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 623-638.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:22:y:2008:i:5:p:623-638
    DOI: 10.1080/02692170802287698

    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 search for a different version of it.

    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)


    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:623-638. 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.