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Does the Euro-zone Diverge? A Stress Indicator for Analyzing Trends and Cycles in Real GDP and Inflation

  • Gebhard Flaig
  • Timo Wollmershäuser

This paper presents a stress indicator for the Euro-zone that summarizes developments of trends and cycles in real GDP and inflation in the member countries. Stress in a country is defined as the difference between the country’s actual short-term interest rate and the interest rate that would prevail if that country was able to follow an “optimal” monetary policy. The optimal monetary policy rule corresponds to the policy rule that was adopted by the country in the pre-EMU period and depends on the trend growth rates of GDP and consumer prices as well as on the related cyclical components. The main results are that stress in the Euro-zone is mainly due to different trend growth rates and that for most of the Euro-zone countries interest rates have been too low over the 1999-2005 period. Stress in Germany is close to zero, implying that the ECB continues the policy of the Bundesbank.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1937.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1937
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  1. Jean Boivin, 2005. "Has US Monetary Policy Changed? Evidence from Drifting Coefficients and Real-Time Data," NBER Working Papers 11314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Leigh, 2005. "Estimating the Implicit Inflation Target; An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 05/77, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 1997. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 23-42, Fall.
  4. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2005. "Trends and cycles in the Euro Area: how much heterogeneity and should we worry about it?," Macroeconomics 0511016, EconWPA.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band Pass Filter," NBER Working Papers 7257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  6. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," Working Papers 97-32, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  8. Harvey, A.C. & Trimbur, T.M., 2001. "General Model-based Filters for Extracting Cycles and Trends in Economic Time Series," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0113, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Canova, Fabio, 1993. "Detrending and Business Cycle Facts," CEPR Discussion Papers 782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  11. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1999. "A Heuristic Method for Extracting Smooth Trends from Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 7439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Nicholai Benalal & Juan Luis Diaz del Hoyo & Beatrice Pierluigi & Nikiforos Vidalis, 2006. "Output growth differentials across the euro area countries - some stylised facts," Occasional Paper Series 45, European Central Bank.
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