IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Instability of the Eurozone? On Monetary Policy, House Prices and Labor Market Reforms


  • Belke, Ansgar H.

    () (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Gros, Daniel



This paper deals with potential instabilities in the Eurozone stemming from an insufficient interplay between monetary policy and reform effort on the one hand and the emergence of intra-Euro area divergences on the other. As a first step, we assess the effect of EMU on structural reform and investigate this question by an examination of the relationship between fixed exchange rates and reform in two wider samples of countries. We also stress that loose monetary conditions, which prevailed until some months ago, can also manifest themselves in asset price inflation, notably in the housing market. When these bubbles burst (e.g., when housing prices stop rising) this often leads to a prolonged period of economic instability and weakness rather than consumer price inflation. As a second step, we point out that risks for EMU are not only increasing because longer-term disequilibria become evident in fiscal and monetary policy, but also because serious divergences are now appearing within the Euro area which threaten its long-term cohesiveness. The most manifest example of this threat comes from what promises to be a long-term divergence between Germany and Italy, which for the time being was offset by asynchronous developments of house prices in both countries. There are still large differences within the Euro area, with the small countries performing much better than the large ones on almost every indicator. This suggests that better policies can make a large difference even if monetary policy is the same for everybody.

Suggested Citation

  • Belke, Ansgar H. & Gros, Daniel, 2007. "Instability of the Eurozone? On Monetary Policy, House Prices and Labor Market Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 2547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2547

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ansgar Belke & Daniel Gros, 1999. "Estimating the costs and benefits of EMU: The impact of external shocks on labour markets," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 135(1), pages 1-47, March.
    2. Adam Posen, 2003. "It Takes More Than a Bubble to Become Japan," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Charles Wyplosz, 2006. "European Monetary Union: the dark sides of a major success," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(46), pages 207-261, April.
    4. André Van Poeck & Alain Borghijs, 2001. "EMU and Labour Market Reform: Needs, Incentives and Realisations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(10), pages 1327-1352, November.
    5. Romain Duval & Jørgen Elmeskov, 2005. "The Effects of EMU on Structural Reforms in Labour and Product Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 438, OECD Publishing.
    6. Nathalie Girouard & Mike Kennedy & Paul van den Noord & Christophe André, 2006. "Recent House Price Developments: The Role of Fundamentals," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 475, OECD Publishing.
    7. Ansgar Belke & Marcel Wiedmann, 2005. "Boom or Bubble in the US Real Estate Market?," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 260/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    8. Abdul Abiad & Ashoka Mody, 2005. "Financial Reform: What Shakes It? What Shapes It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 66-88, March.
    9. Anne C. Sibert & Alan Sutherland, "undated". "Monetary Regimes and Labour Market Reform," Discussion Papers 97/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Massimo Giuliodori, 2005. "The Role Of House Prices In The Monetary Transmission Mechanism Across European Countries," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(4), pages 519-543, September.
    11. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Will EMU Increase Eurosclerosis?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Ansgar Belke, 2002. "Does the ECB Follow the FED?," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 211/2002, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
    13. Heinemann, Friedrich, 2004. "Explaining Reform Deadlocks," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-39, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    14. Pietro Catte & Nathalie Girouard & Robert W. R. Price & Christophe André, 2004. "Housing Markets, Wealth and the Business Cycle," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 394, OECD Publishing.
    15. Daniel Fernández-Kranz & Mark Hon, 2006. "A Cross-Section Analysis of the Income Elasticity of Housing Demand in Spain: Is There a Real Estate Bubble?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 449-470, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Belke Ansgar, 2010. "Die Auswirkungen der Geldmenge und des Kreditvolumens auf die Immobilienpreise – Ein ARDL-Ansatz für Deutschland / Money, Credit and House Prices – An ARDL-Approach for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(2), pages 138-162, April.
    2. Belke, Ansgar & Orth, Walter & Setzer, Ralph, 2008. "Liquidity and the dynamic pattern of price adjustment: a global view," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,25, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Ansgar Belke, 2009. "Die Auswirkungen der Geldmenge und des Kreditvolumens auf die Immobilienpreise: ein ARDL-Ansatz für Deutschland," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 953, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Ansgar Belke & Walter Orth & Ralph Setzer, 2008. "Sowing the seeds for the subprime crisis: does global liquidity matter for housing and other asset prices?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 403-424, December.
    5. Sebastian Dullien & Ulrich Fritsche & Ingrid Groessl & Michael Paetz, 2009. "Adjustment in EMU: Is Convergence Assured?," IMK Working Paper 07-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item


    structural reform; monetary policy regime; asset prices; international competitiveness; EMU; instabilities; labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2547. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.