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Real Convergence, Capital Flows, and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe


  • Ansgar Belke
  • Gunther Schnabl
  • Holger Zemanek


The paper scrutinizes the role of wages and capital flows for competitiveness in the new EU member states in the context of real convergence. For this purpose it extends the seminal Balassa-Samuelson model by international capital markets. The augmented Balassa-Samuelson model is linked to the monetary overinvestment theories of Wicksell and Hayek in order to trace cyclical deviations of real exchange rates from the productivity-driven equilibrium path. Panel estimations for the period from 1993 to 2008 reveal mixed evidence for the role of capital markets for both the economic catch-up process and international competitiveness of the Central and Eastern European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl & Holger Zemanek, 2009. "Real Convergence, Capital Flows, and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 2835, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2835

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manuela Goretti, 2008. "Wage-Price Setting in New EU Member States," IMF Working Papers 08/243, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Gunther Schnabl & Andreas Hoffmann, 2008. "Monetary Policy, Vagabonding Liquidity and Bursting Bubbles in New and Emerging Markets: An Overinvestment View," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1226-1252, September.
    3. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
    4. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    5. Ehsan U. Choudhri & Lawrence L. Schembri, 2010. "Productivity, the Terms of Trade, and the Real Exchange Rate: Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis Revisited," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 924-936, November.
    6. Andreas Hoffmann, 2010. "An Overinvestment Cycle In Central And Eastern Europe?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 711-734, November.
    7. Guy Debelle & Gabriele Galati, 2007. "Current Account Adjustment and Capital Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 989-1013, November.
    8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "Paper tigers?: A model of the Asian crisis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1211-1236, June.
    9. Gunther Schnabl & Stephan Freitag, 2012. "Reverse Causality in Global and Intra-European Imbalances," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 674-690, September.
    10. Schnabl, Gunther & Freitag, Stephan, 2009. "An asymmetry matrix in global current accounts," Working Papers 76, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
    11. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    12. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
    13. Alastair Thomas & Alan King, 2008. "The Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis in the Asia-Pacific Region Revisited," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 127-141, February.
    14. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    15. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1991. "Structural Determinants of Real Exchange Rates and National Price Levels: Some Empirical Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 325-334, March.
    16. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
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    18. Joze Mencinger, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Always Enhance Economic Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 491-508, November.
    19. Gunther Schnabl & Paul De Grauwe, 2004. "Nominal versus Real Convergence with Respect to EMU Accession - EMU Entry Scenarios for the New Member States," International Finance 0403008, EconWPA, revised 16 Feb 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hubert Gabrisch, 2015. "Net Capital Flows To And The Real Exchange Rate Of Western Balkan Countries," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 60(205), pages 31-52, April – J.
    2. Schnabl, Gunther & Ziegler, Christina, 2011. "Exchange rate and wage policies in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 347-360, May.
    3. Gabrisch, Hubert, 2015. "Cross-border finance, trade imbalances and competitiveness in the euro area," MPRA Paper 68518, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    exchange rate regime; wages; Central and Eastern Europe; EMU accession; panel model;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements


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