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Some Unpleasant Euro Arithmetic


  • Guillaume Gaulier
  • Vincent Vicard


Current estimates of misalignments in real effective exchange rates show that euro area imbalances are still large: Germany exhibits a 20 percentage point undervaluation compared to the rest of the euro area (EA). Within a monetary union, rebalancing requires price adjustments through differentials in inflation rates. The rebalancing process therefore involves a 2 percentage point higher inflation in Germany than in the rest of the EA over a decade, or a 1 pp over two decades. It also requires above 2% inflation in surplus countries to meet the 2% ECB inflation target. At the current pace, rebalancing is a 20 year process and requires sustained very low inflation rates in the rest of the euro area.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Gaulier & Vincent Vicard, 2018. "Some Unpleasant Euro Arithmetic," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-21, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepipb:2018-21

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cécile Couharde & Anne-Laure Delatte & Carl Grekou & Valérie Mignon & Florian Morvillier, 2017. "Sur- et sous-évaluations de change en zone euro?: vers une correction soutenable des déséquilibres??," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, issue 375.
    2. Olivier Blanchard, 2016. "The Phillips Curve: Back to the '60s?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 31-34, May.
    3. Mar Delgado-Téllez & Enrique Moral-Benito & Francesca Viani, 2020. "An anatomy of the Spanish current account adjustment: the role of permanent and transitory factors," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 501-529, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio Cesaratto & Gennaro Zezza, 2018. "What went wrong with Italy, and what the country should now fight for in Europe," FMM Working Paper 37-2018, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Charlotte Emlinger & Sébastien Jean & Vincent Vicard, 2019. "L’étonnante atonie des exportations françaises : retour sur la compétitivité et ses déterminants," CEPII Policy Brief 2019-24, CEPII research center.

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    More about this item


    Current account imbalances; Euro area; Exchange rates misalignments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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