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The euro area inefficiency gap


  • Jordi Galí

    () (Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional)

  • Mark Gertler

    () (New York University)

  • J. David López-Salido

    () (Banco de España)


We construct a measure of Euro area cyclical efficiency, following the approach developed in Galí, Gertler and López-Salido (2002). Our measure –which we call "the gap"– corresponds to the inverse of price over social marginal cost. Here we present a time series of this gap for the Euro area, as well as its two components, the price and wage markups. As with U.S. data, the ineficiency gap is highly procyclical, and driven largely by countercyclical movements in the wage markup. We are also able to use our gap variable to derive a theory-based measure of the output gap for the Euro area, which we can compare to other measures often used in applications. We also show that the wage markup moves closely with the unemployment rate, as theory would suggest. Finally, we discuss briefly the implications for monetary policy of alternative interpretations of our evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2003. "The euro area inefficiency gap," Working Papers 0302, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2007. "Markups, Gaps, and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 44-59, November.
    2. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
    3. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 223-250, January.
    5. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
    6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    7. Gali, Jordi, 1996. "Unemployment in dynamic general equilibrium economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 839-845, April.
    8. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78.
    9. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
    10. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
    11. Danthine, J.P. & Donaldson, J.B., 1993. "Non-Walrassian Economies," Papers 93-02, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
    12. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Real Business Cycle," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 8803, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    13. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Feve & Julien Matheron & Guillaume Sahuc, 2010. "Désinflation et chômage dans la zone euro : une analyse à l'aide d'un modèle var structurel," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 365-394.

    More about this item


    Business Cycles; Countercyclical Markups; Monetary Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles


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