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Inflation convergence and divergence within the European Monetary Union

  • Busetti, Fabio
  • Forni, Lorenzo
  • Harvey, Andrew
  • Venditti, Fabrizio

We study the convergence properties of inflation rates among the countries of the European Monetary Union over the period 1980-2004. Given the Maastricht agreements and the adoption of the single currency, the sample can be naturally split into two parts, before and after the birth of the euro. We study convergence in the first sub-sample by means of univariate and multivariate unit root tests on inflation differentials, arguing that the power of the tests is considerably increased if the Dickey-Fuller regressions are run without an intercept term. Overall, we are able to accept the convergence hypothesis over the period 1980-1997. We then investigate whether the second sub-sample is characterized by stable inflation rates across the European countries. Using stationarity tests on inflation differentials, we find evidence of diverging behaviour. In particular, we can statistically detect two separate clusters, or or convergence clubs: a lower inflation group that comprises Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Finland and a higher inflation one with Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Italy appears to form a cluster of its own, standing in between the other two. JEL Classification: C12, C22, C32, E31

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0574.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060574
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  1. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Durlauf,S.N. & Quah,D.T., 1998. "The new empirics of economic growth," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Harvey, A. & Bates, D., 2003. "Multivariate Unit Root Tests and Testing for Convergence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0301, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. O'Connell, Paul G. J., 1998. "The overvaluation of purchasing power parity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-19, February.
  5. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  6. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
  7. Harvey, A. & Vasco Carvalho, 2002. "Models for Converging Economies," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0216, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Renato Flôres & Philippe Jorion & Pierre-Yves Preumont & Ariane Szafarz, 1999. "Multivariate Unit root Tests of the PPP Hypothesis," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/711, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Bart Hobijn & Philip Hans Franses, 2000. "Asymptotically perfect and relative convergence of productivity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 59-81.
  10. Angeloni Ignazio & Ehrmann Michael, 2007. "Euro Area Inflation Differentials," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-36, August.
  11. Abuaf, Niso & Jorion, Philippe, 1990. " Purchasing Power Parity in the Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 157-74, March.
  12. Weber, Axel A. & Beck, Guenter, 2003. "How wide are European borders? On the integration effects of monetary unions," CFS Working Paper Series 2001/07, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  13. Fabio Busetti & Andrew Harvey, 2007. "Testing for trend," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 614, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  15. Ulrich K. M¸ller & Graham Elliott, 2003. "Tests for Unit Roots and the Initial Condition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1269-1286, 07.
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