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Country adjustment to a ‘sudden stop’: Does the euro make a difference?


  • Daniel Gros
  • Cinzia Alcidi


A ‘sudden stop’ to (private) capital inflows is usually very disruptive to an economy because it forces an almost immediate reversal in the current account unless the country in question receives substantial balance of payments assistance. The analysis presented in this paper starts from the observation that two groups of European countries, neither of which could use the exchange rate as an adjustment instrument, experienced a sudden stop after the outbreak of the global financial crisis. The first group comprises five euro area member states under financial stress during the euro area debt crisis (“GIIPS”). The second group comprises four newer EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe (“BELL”). We highlight the differences in the adjustment paths of these two groups and analyse the factors which can explain them. The main finding is that the adjustment was quicker outside EMU than inside. The shock absorbers provided by the financial ‘plumbing’ of the Eurosystem offset much of the reversal in private capital flows and seem to have created an environment in which the pressure for a quick adjustment was much weaker. We also find that the structure of the domestic banking industry plays a key role. Foreign ownership of banks provided a loss absorber in the BELL favouring a quick correction, while the legacy of the banking crisis in some of GIIPS, where foreign ownership of banks was limited, is likely to weight for long time on their still incomplete.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Gros & Cinzia Alcidi, 2013. "Country adjustment to a ‘sudden stop’: Does the euro make a difference?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 492, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  • Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0492

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans-Werner Sinn & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: the ECB’s rescue facility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 468-508, August.
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    3. Mayer, Thomas & Gros, Daniel, 2011. "Debt reduction without default?," CEPS Papers 4150, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    4. Romain Bouis & Romain Duval, 2011. "Raising Potential Growth After the Crisis: A Quantitative Assessment of the Potential Gains from Various Structural Reforms in the OECD Area and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 835, OECD Publishing.
    5. Silvia Merler & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2012. "Sudden Stops in the Euro Area," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 3(3).
    6. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
    7. Giavazzi, Francesco & Spaventa, Luigi, 2010. "Why the current account may matter in a monetary union: Lessons from the financial crisis in the Euro area," CEPR Discussion Papers 8008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Bergljot B Barkbu & Jesmin Rahman & Rodrigo O. Valdes, 2012. "Fostering Growth in Europe Now," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 12/07, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Daniel Gros & Cinzia Alcidi, 2011. "euro zone crisis 2010," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael A. Stemmer, 2017. "Revisiting Finance and Growth in Transition Economies - A Panel Causality Approach," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17022, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. Philip R. Lane, 2014. "International Financial Flows and the Irish Crisis," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 14-19, April.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0482 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2013. "Current account adjustment in EU countries: Does euro-area membership make a difference?," Discussion Papers 49/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. repec:eee:ecmode:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:338-345 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ansgar Belke & Daniel Gros & Alcidi Cinzia & Leonor Coutinho & Alessandro Giovannini, 2014. "Exit State-of-play in Implementing Macroeconomic Adjustment Programmes in the Euro Area," ROME Working Papers 201405, ROME Network.
    7. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Fernández-Arias, Eduardo & Powell, Andrew, 2014. "Is the Euro-zone on the Mend? Latin American examples to analyze the Euro question," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 243-257.
    8. Schoenmaker, Dirk & Wierts, Peter, 2015. "Regulating the financial cycle: An integrated approach with a leverage ratio," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 70-72.
    9. Lane, Philip R., 2015. "Macro-Financial Stability under EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 10776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. repec:bla:jcmkts:v:55:y:2017:i::p:133-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:08:y:2017:i:03:n:s1793993317500168 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Valentina Milano, 2017. "Risk Sharing in the Euro Zone: the Role of European Institutions," Working Papers CELEG 1701, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    13. Philip R. Lane, 2015. "Macro-Financial Stability under EMU," Trinity Economics Papers tep0615, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    14. Gelman, Maria & Jochem, Axel & Reitz, Stefan, 2016. "Transmission of global financial shocks to EMU member states: The role of monetary policy and national factors," Discussion Papers 23/2016, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    15. Gros, Daniel & Alcidi, Cinzia & Belke, Ansgar & Coutinho, Leonor & Giovannini, Alessandro, 2014. "State-of-Play in Implementing Macroeconomic Adjustment Programmes in the Euro Area," Ruhr Economic Papers 482, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    16. Daniel Gros & Cinzia Alcidi & Ansgar Belke & Leonor Coutinho & Alessandro Giovannini, 2014. "State-of-Play in Implementing Macroeconomic Adjustment Programmes in the Euro Area," Ruhr Economic Papers 0482, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Eloísa Ortega & Juan Peñalosa, 2013. "Some Thoughts On The Spanish Economy After Five Years Of Crisis," Occasional Papers 1304, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
    18. Esposito, Piero & Messori, Marcello, 2016. "Improved Structural Competitiveness or Deep Recession? On the recent macroeconomic rebalances in the EMU," SEP Working Papers 2016/3, LUISS School of European Political Economy.
    19. Benjamin Schwanebeck, 2017. "Unconventional Monetary Policy in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201741, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    20. Marta Rubio-Codina & Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Natalia Varela & Sally Grantham-McGregor, 2015. "The Socioeconomic Gradient of Child Development: Cross-Sectional Evidence from Children 6–42 Months in Bogota," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 464-483.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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