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Estimating the effect of the EMU on current account balances: a synthetic control approach

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  • Hope, David

Abstract

The European sovereign debt crisis wrought major political and economic damage on the European Monetary Union (EMU). This led to a reassessment of the pre-crisis period of economic growth and stability in the EMU, shifting attention to the macroeconomic imbalances that emerged between member states, especially those in current account balances. This paper uses macroeconomic data on OECD economies and a new statistical approach for causal inference in observational studies—the synthetic control method—to estimate the effect of the EMU on the current account balances of individual member states. This ‘counterfactuals’ approach provides strong evidence that the introduction of the EMU was responsible for the divergence in current account balances among member states in the run-up to the euro crisis. The results suggest that the EMU effect operated through multiple channels and that fundamental changes to the institutional framework of the EMU may be required to safeguard the currency union against a reemergence of dangerous external imbalances in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Hope, David, 2016. "Estimating the effect of the EMU on current account balances: a synthetic control approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67137, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:67137
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/67137/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2011. "Synth: An R Package for Synthetic Control Methods in Comparative Case Studies," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 42(i13).
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    Cited by:

    1. Baccaro, Lucio & D'Antoni, Massimo, 2020. "Has the "external constraint" contributed to Italy's stagnation? A critical event analysis," MPIfG Discussion Paper 20/9, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. Gabriel, Ricardo Duque & Pessoa, Ana Sofia, 2020. "Adopting the Euro: a synthetic control approach," MPRA Paper 99391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Barlow, Pepita, 2018. "Does trade liberalization reduce child mortality in low- and middle-income countries? A synthetic control analysis of 36 policy experiments, 1963-2005," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 107-115.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    common currency areas; EMU; current control method; synthetic control method; European sovereign debt crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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