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Deeper, wider and more competitive? Monetary integration, Eastern enlargement and competitiveness in the European Union

Author

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  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P.
  • Taglioni, Daria
  • di Mauro, Filippo

Abstract

What determines a country's ability to compete in international markets? What fosters the global competitiveness of its firms? And in the European context, have key elements of the EU strategy such as EMU and enlargement helped or hindered domestic firms' competitiveness in local and global markets? We address these questions by calibrating and simulating a conceptual framework that, based on Melitz and Ottaviano (2005), predicts that tougher and more transparent international competition drives less productive firms out the market, thereby increasing average productivity as well as reducing average prices and mark-ups. The model also predicts a parallel reduction of price dispersion within sectors. Our conceptual framework allows us to disentangle the effects of technology and freeness of entry from those of accessibility (i.e. the ease for local firms to reach local and foreign consumers). On the one hand, by controlling for the impact of trade frictions, we are able to construct an index of 'revealed competitiveness', which would drive the relative performance of countries in an ideal world in which all faced the same barriers to international transactions. On the other hand, by focusing on the role of accessibility while keeping 'revealed competitiveness' as given, we are able to evaluate the impacts of EMU and enlargement on the competitiveness of European firms. We find that EMU positively affects the competitiveness of firms located in participating economies. Enlargement has, instead, two contrasting effects. It improves the accessibility of EU members but it also increases substantially the relative importance of unproductive competitors from Eastern Europe. JEL Classification: F12, R13

Suggested Citation

  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Taglioni, Daria & di Mauro, Filippo, 2007. "Deeper, wider and more competitive? Monetary integration, Eastern enlargement and competitiveness in the European Union," Working Paper Series 847, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2007847
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    File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp847.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de Sousa, José & Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2012. "Market access in global and regional trade," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1037-1052.
    2. DEL GATTO, Massimo & MION, Giordano & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P., 2006. "Trade integration, firm selection and the costs of non-Europe," CORE Discussion Papers 2006061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    7. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Corcos & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2012. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the ‘New’ Gains from Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 754-798, June.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:784-:d:97999 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Robert Anderton & Paul Hiebert, "undated". "The Impact of Globalisation on the Euro Area Macroeconomy," Discussion Papers 09/14, University of Nottingham, GEP.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitiveness; European integration; firm-level data; gains from trade; total factor productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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