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Long-Run Determinants of Inflation Differentials in a Monetary Union


  • Filippo Altissimo
  • Pierpaolo Benigno
  • Diego Rodriguez Palenzuela


This paper analyzes the long-run determinants of inflation differentials in a monetary union. First, we aim at establishing some stylized facts relating the regional dispersion in headline inflation rates in the euro area as well as in the main components of the consumer price index. We find that a relatively large proportion of it occurs in the Service category of the EU's harmonized consumer price index (HICP). We then lay out a model of a monetary union with fully flexible prices, the long-run properties of which are analyzed. Our model departs in several respect from the Balassa-Samuelson hypotheses. Our results are in contrast with the result that movements in the real exchange rate are mainly driven by regionally asymmetric productivity shocks in the traded sectors. Our results point instead to relative variations in productivity in the non-traded sector as the primary cause of price and inflation differentials, with shocks to productivity in the traded sector being largely absorbed by movements in the terms of trade in the regional economies. These shocks are also found to largely drive the variability of real wages at the country level.

Suggested Citation

  • Filippo Altissimo & Pierpaolo Benigno & Diego Rodriguez Palenzuela, 2005. "Long-Run Determinants of Inflation Differentials in a Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 11473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11473
    Note: EFG IFM ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
    2. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-185, March.
    3. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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