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Real Exchange Rates, Trade, and Growth: Italy 1861-2011

Author

Listed:
  • Virginia Di Nino

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Barry Eichengreen

    () (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Massimo Sbracia

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

What is the relationship between real exchange rate misalignments and economic growth? And what effect, if any, did undervaluations or overvaluations of the lira/euro have on Italy's growth? We address these questions by presenting, first, three main facts: (i) there is a positive relationship between undervaluation and growth; (ii) this relationship is strong for developing countries and weak for advanced countries; (iii) these results tend to hold for both the pre- and the post-World War II period. Building a simple analytical model, we explore channels through which undervaluation may exert a positive effect on real GDP. We assume that productivity is higher in the tradeable-goods than in the non-tradeable-goods sector, and examine the roles of market structure, scale economies and wage flexibility in channelling resources from the latter to the former sector, increasing exports and real GDP. We then turn to Italy and verify empirically that, as the theory suggests, undervaluation has positively affected its exports. Undervaluation has been helpful, in particular, to increase the exports of high-productivity sectors, such as most manufacturing industries. Finally, we describe the misalignments of the lira/euro since 1861, analyze their determinants and draw the implications for Italy's economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginia Di Nino & Barry Eichengreen & Massimo Sbracia, 2011. "Real Exchange Rates, Trade, and Growth: Italy 1861-2011," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 10, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:workqs:qse_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Crafts, Nicolas & Magnani, Marco, 2011. "The Golden Age and the Second Globalization in Italy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 61, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Frenkel, Roberto & Rapetti, Martin, 2014. "The real exchange rate as a target of macroeconomic policy," MPRA Paper 59335, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Samba Mbaye, 2012. "Real Exchange Rate Undervaluation and Growth: Is there a Total Factor Productivity Growth Channel?," Working Papers halshs-00687948, HAL.
    4. Giordano, Claire & Giugliano, Ferdinando, 2015. "A tale of two Fascisms: Labour productivity growth and competition policy in Italy, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 25-38.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1450-y is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mbaye, Samba, 2012. "Currency Undervaluation and Growth: Is there a Productivity Channel?," MPRA Paper 44261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Duygu Yolcu Karadam & Erdal Özmen, 2016. "Real Exchange Rates and Growth," ERC Working Papers 1609, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Sep 2016.
    8. Martín Rapetti, 2013. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth: Some Observations on the Possible Channels," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2013-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    9. Samba MBAYE, 2012. "Real Exchange Rate Undervaluation and Growth: Is there a Total Factor Productivity Growth Channel?," Working Papers 201211, CERDI.
    10. Patrizia Battilani & Emanuele Felice & Vera Zamagni, 2014. "The value-added of service industry 1861-1951: the new series at current prices and first interpretations," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 33, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Ahmed,Swarnali & Appendino,Maximiliano Andres & Ruta,Michele, 2015. "Depreciations without exports ? global value chains and the exchange rate elasticity of exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7390, The World Bank.
    12. repec:bpj:bejmac:v:17:y:2017:i:1:p:24:n:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Maria V. Sokolova, 2016. "Exchange Rates, International Trade and Growth: Re-Evaluation of Undervaluation," IHEID Working Papers 05-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    14. Habib, Maurizio Michael & Mileva, Elitza & Stracca, Livio, 2017. "The real exchange rate and economic growth: Revisiting the case using external instruments," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 386-398.
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    18. Marchetti, Juan & Ruta, Michele & Teh, Robert, 2012. "Trade imbalances and multilateral trade cooperation," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-23, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    19. Bilal KARGI, 2014. "Time Series Analysis about the Relationship between Foreign Trade and Exchange Rate in Turkish Economy," Timisoara Journal of Economics and Business, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 7(2), pages 123-133, December.
    20. Emanuele Felice & Giovanni Vecchi, 2013. "Italy’s Growth and Decline, 1861-2011," CEIS Research Paper 293, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Oct 2013.
    21. repec:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0143-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Vittorio Daniele & Pasquale Foresti & Oreste Napolitano, 2017. "The stability of money demand in the long-run: Italy 1861–2011," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 217-244, May.

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    Keywords

    Currency misalignments; Competitiveness; Italy; Export; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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