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Adjusting to the euro

  • Fagan, Gabriel
  • Gaspar, Vítor

In this paper we argue that, for a group of converging economies of the European Union, participation in the euro area has been associated with easier access to financing by domestic economic agents. Easier access to financing was a significant impulse leading to a sharp increase in households' expenditures and a corresponding fall in the savings ratio. Increased expenditure was associated with current account deficits, a sharp fall in the net foreign asset position and an increase in the households' indebtedness. At the same time there was a sizeable increase in the real exchange rate. In this paper, we show that it is possible to obtain all these qualitative features of adjustment using a simple analytical model of intertemporal equilibrium. Specifically, we consider a simple endowment economy with traded and non-traded goods populated by Blanchard-Yaari households. We also argue that the consideration of external habit formation improves the model's ability to mimic short to medium term adjustment dynamics while, at the same time, improving the plausibility of steady state effects. JEL Classification: F36, E21, F32

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0716.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070716
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  1. Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Iacone, Fabrizio & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Extracting information from asset prices: The methodology of EMU calculators," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1607-1632, October.
  2. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Lane, Philip R., 2006. "The Real Effects of EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 5536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4f63x50j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Velculescu Delia, 2004. "Intergenerational Habits, Fiscal Policy, and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, September.
  9. Gruber, Joseph W., 2004. "A present value test of habits and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1495-1507, October.
  10. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  11. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Robert-Paul Berben & Alberto Locarno & Julian Morgan & Javier Vallés, 2005. "Cross-country differences in monetary policy transmission," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0502, Banco de Espa�a.
  13. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  14. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1992. "International Adjustment with Habit-Forming Consumption: A Diagrammatic Exposition," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 32-48, November.
  16. Neary, Peter, 1988. "Determinants of the Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 210-15, March.
  17. David S. Bates, 1999. "Financial Markets' Assessment of EMU," NBER Working Papers 6874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  19. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2002. "Current Account Deficits in the Euro Area: The End of the Feldstein Horioka Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 147-210.
  20. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & Vega, Juan Luis, 2006. "What effects is EMU having on the euro area and its member countries? An overview," Working Paper Series 0599, European Central Bank.
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