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The Inflation Target of the ECB: Does the Balassa-Samuelson Effect Matter?

  • Kirsten Lommatzsch
  • Silke Tober

This paper argues that the Balassa-Samuelson effect is not of importance for the inflation target of the ECB. First, econometric tests of the Balassa-Samuelson effect suggest that its econometric significance is weak at best. Second, countries in the process of catching up require a real devaluation in the sector of tradable goods to maintain balance-of-payments equilibrium which counters the real appreciation resulting from a relative increase in service prices. It follows that whereas the Balassa-Samuelson effect could, at least in theory, be used to justify an inflation target well above zero, thedifference in productivity growth and thus the difference in the size of the Balassa-Samuelson effect between countries as such cannot.

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Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 19.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0136
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  1. Holger C. Wolf & Alberto Giovannini & Jose De Gregorio, 1994. "International Evidenceon Tradables and Nontradables Inflation," IMF Working Papers 94/33, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Michael Reutter & Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "The Minimum Inflation Rate for Euroland," CESifo Working Paper Series 377, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. International Monetary Fund, 2002. "Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies of the Euro Area; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 02/236, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Artis, Michael J & Kontolemis, Zenon G & Mizen, Paul D, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: What can the ECB Learn from the Recent Experience of the Bank of England," CEPR Discussion Papers 1941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Canzoneri, Matthew, et al, 2002. "Productivity Trends in Europe: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates, and Inflation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 497-516, August.
  6. DeLoach, Stephen B, 2001. "More Evidence in Favor of the Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 336-42, May.
  7. Jose De Gregorio & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Terms of Trade, Productivity, and the Real Exchange Rate," Working Papers 94-19, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Lommatzsch, Kirsten & Tober, Silke, 2004. "What is behind the real appreciation of the accession countries' currencies?: An investigation of the PPI-based real exchange rate," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 383-403, December.
  9. Mishkin, F.S., 1998. "International Experiences with Different Monetary Policy Regimes," Papers 648, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. John H. Rogers & Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Erika Wada, 2001. "Price Level Convergence and Inflation in Europe," Working Paper Series WP01-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  11. Paul De Grauwe, 2002. "Challenges for Monetary Policy in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 693-718, November.
  12. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E O, 2002. "Money and Inflation in the Euro-Area: A Case for Monetary Indicators?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Wynne, Mark A. & Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego, 2002. "Measurement bias in the HICP: what do we know, and what do we need to know?," Working Paper Series 0131, European Central Bank.
  16. Matthew Canzoneri & Robert Cumby & Behzad Diba & Gwen Eudey, 1998. "Trends in European Productivity: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates and Inflation Differentials," Working Papers 27, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
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