Price level convergence, relative prices, and inflation in Europe
If price levels are initially different across the euro area, convergence to a common level of prices would imply that inflation will be higher in countries where prices are initially low. Price level convergence thus provides a potential explanation for recent cross-country differences in European inflation, a worrisome development under the ECBs "one-size-fits-all" monetary policy. I present direct evidence on price level convergence in Europe, using a unique data set, and then investigate how much of the recent divergence of national inflation rates can be explained by price level convergence. I show that between 1990 and 1999 prices did become less dispersed in the euro area. Convergence is especially evident for traded goods, and more in the first half of the 1990s than the second half. By some measures, traded goods price dispersion across the euro area is now close to that across U.S. cities. Despite an on-going process of convergence, deviations from the law of one price are large. Finally, I find a statistically-significant and robust negative relationship between the 1999 price level and 2000 inflation rate in Europe, and that the contribution of price level convergence to explaining inflation differentials is often quite important economically. Still, factors other than price convergence explain most of the cross-country inflation differences.
|Date of creation:||2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/order.htm|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Romer, David, 1993.
"Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903, November.
- Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
- Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1994.
"How Wide is the Border?,"
NBER Working Papers
4829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," International Finance Discussion Papers 498, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Jose De Gregorio & Alberto Giovannini, 1993.
"International Evidence on Tradables and Nontradable Inflation,"
NBER Working Papers
4438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- De Gregorio, Jose & Giovannini, Alberto & Wolf, Holger C., 1994. "International evidence on tradables and nontradables inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1225-1244, June.
- Jose De Gregorio & Alberto Giovannini & Holger C. Wolf, 1993. "International Evidence on Tradables and Nontradables Inflation," Working Papers 93-17, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
- Holger C. Wolf & Alberto Giovannini & Jose De Gregorio, 1994. "International Evidenceon Tradables and Nontradables Inflation," IMF Working Papers 94/33, International Monetary Fund.
- Stephen G. Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert J. Sonora, 2000.
"Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank,"
NBER Working Papers
7681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert Sonora, 1999. "Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank," Working Papers 99-01, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
- Stephen Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert Sonora, 1998. "Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank," Working Papers 32, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
- Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:699. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.