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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:91
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  1. 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.
  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. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  10. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Giovanni Peri, 1998. "Regional non-adjustment and fiscal policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 205-259, 04.
  14. Tamim Bayoumi & Eswar Prasad, 1997. "Currency Unions, Economic Fluctuations, and Adjustment: Some New Empirical Evidence," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 36-58, March.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Jimeno, Juan F & Viñals, José, 1996. "Monetary Union and European Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Jean IMBS, 1998. "Fluctuations, Bilateral Trade and the Exchange Rate Regime," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9906, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised Nov 1998.
  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. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Operationalizing the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 1484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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