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Exports and Property Prices in France: Are they Connected?


  • Balazs Egert
  • Rafal Kierzenkowski


France has seen a marked deterioration in its export performance in the last 10 years or so. Previous empirical research pointed out that weak export performance was due to i) vigorous domestic demand; ii) lower mark-ups due to head-to-head competition with Germany; iii) low non-price competitiveness of French export goods; iv) offshoring of entire production processes (especially in the automobile sector); and v) difficulties of French manufacturing firms to reach critical size for exporting. This paper adds an additional explanation to this list. We argue that resource reallocation from the exporting to the construction sector triggered by fast rising property prices hindered France to meet world export demand vis-Ã -vis its products. Our econometric analysis shows that the resource reallocation argument helps explain French export performance between the early 2000s and 2007, unexplained by traditional models. This result is confirmed for a set of OECD countries that experienced a marked decline in their export performance and sustained real-estate boom after 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Balazs Egert & Rafal Kierzenkowski, 2010. "Exports and Property Prices in France: Are they Connected?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3047, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3047

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bover, Olympia & Jimeno, Juan F, 2007. "House Prices and Employment Reallocation: International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Nivat, D. & Villetelle, J-P., 2006. "Les mauvaises performances du commerce extérieur de la France sont-elles liées à un problème de demande ?," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 146, pages 21-31.
    3. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-348, August.
    4. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-472, August.
    5. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1993. "A Simple Estimator of Cointegrating Vectors in Higher Order Integrated Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 783-820, July.
    6. Christophe Blot & Marion Cochard, 2008. "L'énigme des exportations revisitée. Que faut-il retenir des données de panel ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 67-100.
    7. Marion Cochard, 2008. "Le commerce extérieur français à la dérive ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 29-66.
    8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2006. "The Pathological Export Boom and the Bazaar Effect: How to Solve the German Puzzle," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(9), pages 1157-1175, September.
    9. Gaulier, G., 2008. "L’essor des importations européennes de biens intermédiaires depuis des pays à bas salaires Des modèles différents d’externalisation au « Sud »," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 173, pages 9-16.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sofronis Clerides, 2014. "The Collapse of the Cypriot Banking System: A Bird’s Eye View," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 8(2), pages 3-35, December.
    2. Anupam Nanda & Jia-Huey Yeh, 2016. "International Transmission Mechanisms and Contagion in Housing Markets," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(7), pages 1005-1024, July.
    3. Marina Tkalec & Maruska Vizek, 2014. "Real estate boom and export performance bust in Croatia," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 11-34.

    More about this item


    OECD; France; competitiveness; exports; export performance; construction; house prices; resource allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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