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Price Convergence in the Enlarged Internal Market

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  • Christian Dreger
  • Konstantin Kholodilin
  • Kirsten Lommatzsch
  • Jiri Slacalek
  • Przemyslaw Wozniak

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the effects of EU enlargement on price convergence. The internal market is expected to boost integration and increase efficiency and welfare through a convergence of prices in product markets. Two principal drivers are crucial to explain price developments. On the one hand, higher competition exerts a downward pressure on prices because of lower mark ups. On the other hand, the catching up process of low income countries leads to a rise in the price levels and higher inflation over a transition period. Using comparative price levels for 41 product categories price convergence can be established. However, the speed of convergence is rather slow, with half lives around 10 years. The enlargement has slightly stimulated convergence towards the mean price, and this impact is robust across different groups of countries. Moreover, the driving forces of convergence are explored. In line with theoretical predictions, the rise in competition exerts a downward pressure on prices, while catching up of low income countries leads to a rise in price levels and higher inflation. The findings have important implications, as price convergence facilitates the working of common economic policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dreger & Konstantin Kholodilin & Kirsten Lommatzsch & Jiri Slacalek & Przemyslaw Wozniak, 2007. "Price Convergence in the Enlarged Internal Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 730, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp730
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz & Rembert De Blander, 2009. "Price convergence in the European Union and in the New Member States," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 40(2), pages 37-59.
    2. Václav Žďárek, 2011. "Empirická analýza průběhu cenové konvergence ČR a nových členských zemí EU k eurozóně
      [An Empirical Analysis of Price Convergence of the Czech Republic and the New EU Member States towards the Euro
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(4), pages 454-474.
    3. Christian Dreger & Eric Girardin, 2007. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Affect the Long Run Properties of Real Exchange Rates?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 746, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Marina Glushenkova & Marios Zachariadis, 2014. "Understanding Law-of-One-Price Deviations across Europe Before and After the Euro," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 01-2014, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    5. Leon Podkaminer, 2013. "Persistent gaps between purchasing power parities and exchange rates under the law of one price: a puzzle (partly) explained?," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 44(4), pages 333-352.
    6. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Ulrich Fritsche & Michael Graff & Michael Lamla & Sarah Lein & Volker Nitsch & David Liechti & Daniel Triet, 2009. "The euro and prices: changeover-related inflation and price convergence in the euro area," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 381, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    EU enlargement; price convergence; catching up and competition;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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