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Sectoral allocation and macroeconomic imbalances in EMU

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  • Niels Gilbert
  • Sebastiaan Pool

Abstract

In the decade following the introduction of the euro, many Southern EMU members experienced sizeable capital inflows. We document how, instead of contributing to convergence, these flows mainly fueled growth of the nontradable sectors. We rationalize these developments using a tractable two-sector, two-region ('North' and 'South') model of a monetary union. We show how the sharp fall in Southern interest rates that occurred in the run-up to EMU, leads to a consumption boom, wage growth, growth of the nontradable sector, and a deteriorating external position. In the North, an opposite process occurs. As such, both real exchange rates and external positions of the two regions diverge. Including a third country with a flexible exchange rate vis-à-vis the euro amplifies the effects of monetary integration in the South, while dampening them in the North. Using a panel-BVAR, we confirm empirically that the euro area countries experiencing a fall in interest rates relative to the euro area average, experienced faster growth of the nontradable sector and a deteriorating current account balance. We investigate various policy reforms to speed up the necessary rebalancing process. A deepening of the European market shows most promise, boosting GDP growth while facilitating a rebalancing towards tradables.

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  • Niels Gilbert & Sebastiaan Pool, 2016. "Sectoral allocation and macroeconomic imbalances in EMU," DNB Working Papers 536, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:536
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeroen Hessel, 2019. "Medium-term asymmetric fluctuations and EMU as an optimum currency area," DNB Working Papers 644, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    2. Mark Mink & Jan Jacobs & Jakob de Haan & Jakob de Haan, 2016. "Euro Area Imbalances," CESifo Working Paper Series 6291, CESifo.
    3. Marcin Bielecki & Michał Brzoza‐Brzezina & Marcin Kolasa & Krzysztof Makarski, 2019. "Could the Boom‐Bust in the Eurozone Periphery Have Been Prevented?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 336-352, March.
    4. Jeroen Hessel & Niels Gilbert & Jasper de Jong, 2017. "Capitalising on the euro. Options for strengthening the EMU," DNB Occasional Studies 1502, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    EMU; monetary integration; current account imbalances; sectoral allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions

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