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Should the Euro Area be Run as a Closed Economy?

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  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Giavazzi, Francesco

Abstract

The European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has created a new economic area, larger and closer with respect to the rest of the world. Area-specific shocks are thus more important in EMU than country-specific shocks used to be in the previous states, e.g. in Germany. It is thus not surprising that the models built by the staff of the European Central Bank (ECB) to study optimal monetary policy in the Euro area (for instance Smets and Wouters, 2004a, 2004b) typically assume that this works essentially as a closed economy, hit by domestic shocks - the same assumption made in standard models of U.S. monetary policy (see e.g. Christiano et al., 1999 ), where all shocks are domestic with the only possible exception of energy price shocks. Two-country models exist at the ECB (e.g. de Walque, Smets, Wouters, 2005) but they overlook asset price fluctuations and their international comovements. This paper studies monetary policy in the Euro area looking at the variable most directly related to current and expected monetary policy, the yield on long term government bonds. We explore how the behaviour of European long-term rates has been affected by EMU and whether the response of long-term rates to monetary policy has got any closer to that consistent with a closed economy. We find that the level of long-term rates in Europe is almost entirely explained by U.S. shocks and by the systematic response of U.S. and European variables (inflation, short term rates and the output gap) to these shocks. Our results suggest in particular that U.S. variables are more important than local variables in the policy rule followed by European monetary authorities: this was true for the Bundesbank before EMU and has remained true for the ECB, at least so far. Using closed economy models to analyze monetary policy in the Euro is thus inconsistent with the empirical evidence on the determinants of Euro area long-term rates. It is also inconsistent with the way the Governing Council of the ECB appears to make actual policy decisions. We also find that Euro area long rates respond more to financial shocks, in particular shocks to term premia, than they do to monetary policy "shocks" - i.e. instances when the ECB deviates from its rule. This finding point to the importance of incorporating into the analysis of Euro area monetary policy of the effects of fluctuations in international asset prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2008. "Should the Euro Area be Run as a Closed Economy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6654
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roush, Jennifer E., 2007. "The expectations theory works for monetary policy shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1631-1643, September.
    2. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
    3. Vansteenkiste, Isabel & Dées, Stéphane, 2007. "The transmission of US cyclical developments to the rest of the world," Working Paper Series 798, European Central Bank.
    4. Evans, Charles L. & Marshall, David A., 1998. "Monetary policy and the term structure of nominal interest rates: Evidence and theory," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 53-111, December.
    5. Wendy Edelberg & David A. Marshall, 1996. "Monetary policy shocks and long-term interest rates," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar, pages 2-17.
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    Cited by:

    1. Libo Yin & Liyan Han, 2014. "Spillovers of macroeconomic uncertainty among major economies," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(13), pages 938-944, September.
    2. Cornand, Camille & Gandré, Pauline & Gimet, Céline, 2016. "Increase in home bias in the Eurozone debt crisis: The role of domestic shocks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 445-469.
    3. Helge Berger & Thomas Harjes, 2009. "Does Global Liquidity Matter for Monetary Policy in the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 33-55, May.
    4. Hugo ROJAS-ROMAGOSA & Luis RIVERA, "undated". "Human Capital Formation and the Linkage between Trade and Poverty: The Cases of Costa Rica and Nicaragua," EcoMod2010 259600142, EcoMod.
    5. Netšunajev, Aleksei & Glass, Katharina, 2017. "Uncertainty and employment dynamics in the euro area and the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 48-62.
    6. Giovanna BUA, 2016. "International Risk Taking Channel in Emerging Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2016-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    7. Colombo, Valentina, 2013. "Economic policy uncertainty in the US: Does it matter for the Euro area?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 39-42.
    8. Ansgar Belke & Thomas Osowski, 2017. "International Effects of Euro Area versus US Policy Uncertainty: A FAVAR Approach," ROME Working Papers 201703, ROME Network.
    9. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:95-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mili, Mehdi & Sahut, Jean-Michel & Teulon, Frédéric, 2012. "Non linear and asymmetric linkages between real growth in the Euro area and global financial market conditions: New evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 734-741.
    11. Palladini, Giorgia & Portes, Richard, 2011. "Sovereign CDS and Bond Pricing Dynamics in the Euro-area," CEPR Discussion Papers 8651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Syed Hassan & Sarosh Shabi & Taufiq Choudhry, 2018. "US Economic Uncertainty, EU Business Cycles and the Global Financial Crisis," Working Papers 2018-05, Swansea University, School of Management.
    13. Md Rafayet Alam, 2015. "Economic policy uncertainty in the US: Does it matter for Canada?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2725-2732.
    14. Carvalho, Daniel & Fidora, Michael, 2015. "Capital inflows and euro area long-term interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 186-204.
    15. D'Adamo, Gaetano, 2010. "Estimating Central Bank preferences in a small open economy: Sweden 1995-2009," MPRA Paper 26575, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Marco Lombardi & Raphael A Espinoza & Fabio Fornari, 2009. "The Role of Financial Variables in Predicting Economic Activity in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 09/241, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    DSGE models; ECB; monetary policy; yield curve;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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