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Convergence of Relative Prices and Inflation in Central and Eastern Europe


  • Tomás Holub
  • Martin Cihak


The paper assesses inflation risks resulting from the convergence of structures of relative prices in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries toward the European Union (EU). The basic idea of the paper is that under low downward flexibility of domestic nominal prices, the adjustment of relative price structures is likely to lead to higher inflation. The authors find that the degree of differences in the structures of relative prices in transition economies vis-à-vis EU economies has a strong negative relationship to price levels in the transition economies. Based on their calculations, the authors assess the likely future inflationary pressures that can stem from the remaining differences between the structures of relative prices in the CEE economies and the EU. The authors argue that their approach can be thought of as an extension of the standard Balassa-Samuelson explanation of international variability in price levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomás Holub & Martin Cihak, 2001. "Convergence of Relative Prices and Inflation in Central and Eastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 01/124, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/124

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Ravenna & Giovanni Lombardo, 2009. "Trade and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2009 Meeting Papers 784, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Christian Dreger & Konstantin Kholodilin & Kirsten Lommatzsch & Jirka Slacalek & Przemyslaw Wozniak, 2007. "Price convergence in the enlarged internal market," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 292, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Philipp Maier & Paul Cavelaars, 2003. "EMU enlargement and convergence of price levels: Lessons from the German reunification," Macroeconomics 0306016, EconWPA.
    4. Balázs Égert, 2007. "Real Convergence, Price Level Convergence and Inflation in Europe," Working Papers 267, Bruegel.
    5. Egert, Balazs & Halpern, Laszlo, 2006. "Equilibrium exchange rates in Central and Eastern Europe: A meta-regression analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1359-1374, May.
    6. Masten, Igor, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with Balassa-Samuelson-type productivity shocks," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 120-141, March.
    7. Martin Cihak & Tomas Holub, 2005. "Price Convergence in EU-Accession Countries: Evidence from the International Comparison," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 102, pages 59-82.
    8. Fabrizio Coricelli & Bostjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2004. "Linfluence du régime de change sur linflation dans les pays adhérents," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 163(2), pages 51-61.
    9. Balázs Égert & László Halpern & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies: Taking Stock of the Issues ," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 257-324, April.
    10. Vladislav Flek & Lenka Marková & Jiøí Podpiera, 2003. "Sectoral Productivity and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation: Much Ado about Nothing?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 53(3-4), pages 130-153, March.
    11. Kutan, Ali M. & Yigit, Taner M., 2007. "European integration, productivity growth and real convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1370-1395, August.
    12. Lein, Sarah M. & León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & Nerlich, Carolin, 2008. "How is real convergence driving nominal convergence in the new EU Member States?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 227-248, March.
    13. Robert J. Sonora & Josip Tica, 2014. "Harrod, Balassa, and Samuelson (re)visit Eastern Europe," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, December.
    14. Fabio M. Natalucci & Federico Ravenna, 2002. "The road to adopting the euro: monetary policy and exchange rate regimes in EU candidate countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 741, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Fabrizio Coricelli & Bo??tjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and Inflation in Acceding Countries: The Role of Pass-through," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-674, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    16. Danijel Nestić, 2005. "Price Level Convergence: Croatia, Transition Countries and the EU," Working Papers 13, The Croatian National Bank, Croatia.
    17. Fabrizio CORICELLI & Bostjan JAZBEC & Igor MASTEN, 2004. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Acceding Countries: The Role of Exchange Rate Regimes," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/16, European University Institute.
    18. Raim, Jaanus, 2005. "Former Soviet Union as the World champion in cheapness," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 333-349, June.
    19. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Jazbec, Bostjan & Masten, Igor, 2003. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Candidate Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Philipp Maier, 2004. "EMU enlargement, inflation and adjustment of tradable goods prices: What to expect?," DNB Working Papers 010, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.


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