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Borders and business cycles

  • Todd E. Clark
  • Eric van Wincoop

We document that business cycles of U.S. Census regions are substantially more synchronized than those of European Union countries, both over the past four decades and the past two decades. Data from regions within the four largest European countries confirm the presence of a European border effect – within-country correlations are substantially larger than cross-country correlations. These results continue to hold after controlling for exogenous factors such as distance and size. We consider the role of four factors that have received a lot of attention in the debate about EMU: sectoral specialization, the level of trade, monetary policy and fiscal policy. We find that the lower level of trade between European countries, and to a lesser extent the higher degree of sectoral specialization, can explain most of the observed border effect.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 91.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:91
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  1. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, W, 1997. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, January.
  3. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  4. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
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  7. Clark, Todd E, 1998. "Employment Fluctuations in U.S. Regions and Industries: The Roles of National, Region-Specific, and Industry-Specific Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 202-29, January.
  8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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  10. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent E. Sorensen & Oved Yosha, 1999. "Industrial specialization and the asymmetry of shocks across regions," Research Working Paper 99-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  13. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  14. Eswar Prasad & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "Currency Unions, Economic Fluctuations, and Adjustment; Some New Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 96/81, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Operationalizing the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 1484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jimeno, Juan F & Viñals, José, 1996. "Monetary Union and European Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  19. Wynne, Mark A & Koo, Jahyeong, 2000. "Business Cycles under Monetary Union: A Comparison of the EU and US," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 347-74, August.
  20. Todd E. Clark & Kwanho Shin, 1998. "The sources of fluctuations within and across countries," Research Working Paper 98-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  21. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1999. "Further Evidence on the International Business Cycle and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 120-32, January.
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