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External imbalances in a monetary union. Does the Lawson doctrine apply to Europe?

  • Mariam Camarero

    (Jaume I University)

  • Josep Lluís Carrion-i-Silvestre

    (University of Barcelona)

  • Cecilio Tamarit

    (University of Valencia)

A monetary union raises new economic questions about the interpretation and the implications of high current account de?cits for the economic performance of its members in the medium term. Recent literature has argued that conventional measures of external sustainability are misleading because they omit capital variations on net foreign asset positions. In this paper we analyze external sustainability making use of the database developed by Lane and Milesi-Ferretti (2007a) that incudes these valuation effects. The sample period studied covers from the launching of the monetary integration process in Europe (the creation of the ?European Snake? in 1972) up to 2007. The econometric methodology used accounts for the increasing cross-section dependence among EMU countries as well as possible structural breaks endogenously determined. The results point to the need of abrupt adjustments, either led by the markets or promoted by pro-active policy measures in order to offset external disequilibria. The lack of these timely interventions together with the rigidities and institutional imperfections of the present EMU are on the ground of the excessive cost in terms of growth and employment of the current crisis.

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Paper provided by Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales in its series Working Papers with number 10-09.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:aee:wpaper:1009
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