IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Business Cycles Association in a Small Monetary Union: The Case of Switzerland


  • Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes
  • Tiago Neves Sequeira


With its German, French, Italian, and Romansch Cantons, the Helvetic Federation is a small-scale version of the cultural, social, religious, and linguistic heterogeneities found in the European Union (EU). Although it is an interesting case study for observing the effects of idiosyncratic shocks within regional economies, few studies have been conducted that address Switzerland and the lessons it might hold for the EU, especially for the members of the European Monetary Union (EMU). We study the connections between the business cycles of Swiss regions. Evidence shows that Swiss cantons are closely related but there are dynamic effects toward more ‘independent’ business cycles. Despite the economic and cultural heterogeneity, Swiss cantons remain in the same political and monetary union, sharing a common central bank and a coordination/equalization mechanism for managing independent fiscal policies. Switzerland's ability to do these things should be a matter of interest to the EU. avec ses cantons de langue allemande, française, italienne et romanche, la Confédération helvétique est une version à petite échelle de l'hétérogénéité culturelle, sociale, religieuse et linguistique, qui caractérise l'Union européenne (UE). Bien qu'il s'agisse d'une étude de cas intéressante, pour l'observation des effets des chocs caractéristiques au sein des économies régionales, bien peu d’études se sont penchées sur la Suisse et les enseignements que l'on pourrait en tirer, notamment pour les membres de l'Union monétaire européenne (UME). Nous étudions les rapports entre les cycles commerciaux des régions suisses, et nous démontrons que bien que les cantons suisses présentent des rapports étroits entre eux, on relève des effets dynamiques visant à des cycles commerciaux plus ‘indépendants’. En dépit de leur hétérogénéité économique et culturelle, les cantons suisses appartiennent toujours à la même union politique et monétaire, avec une banque centrale commune et un mécanisme de coordination/égalisation assurant l'administration de leurs politiques fiscales autonomes. La façon dont la Suisse parvient à faire tout ceci devrait être susciter un certain intérêt pour l'UE. RESUMEN Con sus cantones alemanes, franceses, italianos y romanches, la Federación Helvética es una versión a pequeña escala de la heterogeneidad cultural, social, religiosa y lingüística que se puede ver en la Unión Europea (UE). Aunque es un estudio de caso interesante para observar los efectos de los choques idiosincráticos dentro de las economías regionales, se han conducido pocos estudios que tomen a Suiza como ejemplo y las lecciones que pudiera dar a la UE, especialmente para los miembros de la Unión Monetaria Europea (UME). Estudiamos la conexión entre los ciclos económicos de las regiones suizas. La evidencia demuestra que los cantones suizos tiene una estrecha relación entre sí, pero existen efectos dinámicos hacia ciclos económicos más ‘independientes’. A pesar de la heterogeneidad cultural y económica, los cantones suizos permanecen en la misma unión política y monetaria, compartiendo un banco central comn y un mecanismo de coordinación/ecualización para gestionar políticas fiscales independientes. La capacidad de Suiza para lograr esto debe ser materia de interés para la UE.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Tiago Neves Sequeira, 2012. "Business Cycles Association in a Small Monetary Union: The Case of Switzerland," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 9-30, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:7:y:2012:i:1:p:9-30
    DOI: 10.1080/17421772.2011.647056

    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. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Girardin, Michel, 1989. "Business cycles in Switzerland : A comparative study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 31-50, January.
    2. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X., 1996. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1325-1352, June.
    3. Geoffrey M.B. Tootell, 1990. "Central bank flexibility and the drawbacks to currency unification," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 3-18.
    4. Wynne, Mark A & Koo, Jahyeong, 2000. "Business Cycles under Monetary Union: A Comparison of the EU and US," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 347-374, August.
    5. Lourdes Montoya & Jakob Haan, 2008. "Regional business cycle synchronization in Europe?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 123-137, July.
    6. António Afonso & Davide Furceri, 2009. "Sectoral Business Cycle Synchronization in the European Union," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2996-3014.
    7. Zsolt Darvas & György Szapáry, 2008. "Business Cycle Synchronization in the Enlarged EU," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 1-19, February.
    8. Zimmermann, Christian, 1997. "International real business cycles among heterogeneous countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 319-356, February.
    9. Annette Detken, 2002. "Nonlinearities in Swiss macroeconomic data," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 138(I), pages 39-60, March.
    10. Ioanna Konstantakopoulou & Eftymios Tsionas & Tryphon Kollintzas, 2009. "Stylized Facts of Prices and Interest Rates over the Business Cycle," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2613-2627.
    11. Paul De Grauwe, 2012. "A Fragile Eurozone in Search of a Better Governance," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 43(1), pages 1-30.
    12. Clark, Todd E. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2001. "Borders and business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 59-85, October.
    13. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe, 2003. "Regional Perspectives on Dollarization in Canada," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 541-570.
    14. Alexander Perruchoud, 2008. "Analyzing the Swiss Business Cycle," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 54(4), pages 255-292.
    15. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1.
    16. Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Álvaro Pina, 2011. "Business Cycles, Core, and Periphery in Monetary Unions: Comparing Europe and North America," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 565-592, September.
    17. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2005. "Regional cyclical asymmetries in an optimal currency area: an analysis using US state data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 373-397, July.
    18. Melitz, Jacques, 2008. "Language and foreign trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 667-699, May.
    19. Ansgar Belke & Jens Heine, 2006. "Specialisation patterns and the synchronicity of regional employment cycles in Europe," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 91-104, November.
    20. Grier, Robin, 1997. "The Effect of Religion on Economic Development: A Cross National Study of Sixty-three Former Colonies," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 47-62.
    21. Gerald A. Carlino & Keith Sill, 1997. "Regional economies: separating trends from cycles," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 19-31.
    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. Roel Helgers & Erik Buyst, 2016. "Spatial and Temporal Diffusion of Housing Prices in the Presence of a Linguistic Border: Evidence from Belgium," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 92-122, March.
    2. Hasan Engin Duran, 2013. "Convergence Of Regional Economic Cycles In Turkey," Review of Urban & Regional Development Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 152-175, November.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:specan:v:7:y:2012:i:1:p:9-30. 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.