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Austerity, Growth and Inflation. Remarks on the Eurozone's Unresolved Competitiveness Problem

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

While the financial protection measures enacted by the ECB and the community of Eurozone members have calmed financial markets, they have left the competitiveness problem of the Eurozone’s southern countries and France unresolved. The paper compares price inflation before the crisis with the necessary and actual price cuts that have taken place since the outbreak of the crisis, predicting a decade of stagnation for the south and inflation for the north. Keynesian demand policy is counterproductive in the south and unnecessary in the north. The necessary realignment of relative goods prices and current account imbalances can be achieved if market forces are allowed to redirect capital flows to the north instead of being artificially steered to uses they are keen to avoid.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 2013. "Austerity, Growth and Inflation. Remarks on the Eurozone's Unresolved Competitiveness Problem," CESifo Working Paper Series 4086, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4086
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
    2. Buti,Marco & Deroose,Servaas & Gaspar,Vitor & Martins,João Nogueira (ed.), 2010. "The Euro," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9789279098420.
    3. Hans-Werner Sinn & Robert Koll, 2000. "The Euro, Interest Rates and European Economic Growth," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 1(3), pages 30-31, October.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2015. "Die griechische Tragödie," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68, pages 03-33, May.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target Balances and the German Financial Account in Light of the European Balance-of-Payments Crisis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4051, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2010. "Rescuing Europe," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(SPECIALIS), pages 1-22, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Paternesi Meloni, 2017. "Austerity & Competitiveness in the Eurozone: a misleading linkage," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0223, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    2. Francesco Saraceno, 2016. "When Keynes goes to Brussels : a new fiscal rule for the EMU," Sciences Po publications 2016-32, Sciences Po.
    3. Camarero, Mariam & Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluís & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2015. "Testing for external sustainability under a monetary integration process. Does the Lawson doctrine apply to Europe?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 343-349.
    4. Abbassi, Puriya & Bräuning, Falk & Fecht, Falko & Peydró, José-Luis, 2014. "Cross-border liquidity, relationships and monetary policy: Evidence from the Euro area interbank crisis," Discussion Papers 45/2014, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Monetary integration, soft budget constraints, and the EMU sovereign debt crises," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 252-275, November.
    6. Makram El-Shagi & Axel Lindner & Gregor von Schweinitz, 2016. "Real Effective Exchange Rate Misalignment in the Euro Area: A Counterfactual Analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 37-66, February.
    7. Theobald, Thomas & Grüning, Patrick & van Treeck, Till, 2015. "Income inequality and Germany's current account surplus," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112846, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala & José Silva, 2015. "Real unit labour costs in Eurozone countries: drivers and clusters," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    9. Nicolas Afflatet, 2017. "Deficit Policy within the Framework of the Stability and Growth Pact: An Empirical Analysis," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 76-86, March.
    10. Samuel Brazys & Aidan Regan, 2016. "These Little PIIGS Went to Market: Enterprise Policy and Divergent Recovery in European Periphery," Working Papers 201517, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    11. Sauer, Beate & Sell, Friedrich L., 2013. "Is the Eurozone not a monetary union, but an extraordinary exchange rate union?," Working Papers in Economics 2013,2, Bundeswehr University Munich, Economic Research Group.
    12. Esposito, Piero, 2017. "Trade creation, trade diversion and imbalances in the EMU," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 462-472.
    13. Charles B. Blankart & Katharina Gnath & Jörg Haas & Thiess Büttner & Frank Westermann, 2015. "Bildung einer Fiskalunion: Ein wirkungsvolles Instrument zur Stabilisierung der Eurozone?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(20), pages 03-16, October.
    14. Eckhard Hein & Eckhard Achim Truger, 2017. "Opportunities and limits of rebalancing the Eurozone via wage policies," FMM Working Paper 06-2017, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    15. repec:bla:indrel:v:48:y:2017:i:2:p:154-173 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:kap:iaecre:v:20:y:2014:i:4:p:357-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Esposito, Piero & Messori, Marcello, 2016. "Improved Structural Competitiveness or Deep Recession? On the recent macroeconomic rebalances in the EMU," SEP Working Papers 2016/3, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    18. Paternesi Meloni, Walter, 2016. "Austerity and competitiveness in the Eurozone: a misleading linkage," MPRA Paper 75962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Karsten Staehr & Javier Ordóñez, 2018. "Unit Labour Costs and the Dynamics of Output and Unemployment in the Southern European Crisis Countries," TUT Economic Research Series 41, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    20. Heinze, Henriette, 2018. "The determinants of German exports: An analysis of intra- and extra-EMU trade," IPE Working Papers 95/2018, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    21. Sophie Piton, 2017. "Economic Integration and the Non-tradable Sector: The European Experience," 2017 Papers ppi361, Job Market Papers.
    22. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2014. "No exit from the euro-rescuing trap?," MPIfG Discussion Paper 14/4, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    23. Christoph Zwick, 2016. "Current Account Adjustment in the Eurozone: Lessons From a Flexible Price Model," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(7), pages 1025-1045, July.
    24. Beate Sauer & Friedrich Sell & Thomas Werner, 2014. "Modelling the Eurozone as an Extraordinary Exchange Rate Union," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 20(4), pages 357-367, November.
    25. Francesco Saraceno, 2016. "The ECB: a reluctant leading character of the EMU play," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 33(2), pages 129-151, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitiveness; inflation; realignment; Keynesian policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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