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Trends in European Productivity: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates and Inflation Differentials

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Abstract

The price of home goods relative to traded goods has risen faster in countries like Belgium, Italy, and Spain than it has in Germany. The observed relative-price trends are in line with sectoral trends in relative labor productivity. A neoclassical model with marginal-cost pricing, long run labor mobility within each country, and long-run PPP in the traded sector can account for the observed trends. As long as the productivity trends continue, countries like Belgium, Italy and Spain will experience equilibrium real appreciations against Germany and will have lower equilibrium real interest rates compared to Germany. Convergence in national inflation rates would require nominal appreciations against the DM to avoid competitiveness problems. In a monetary union, the equilibrium real appreciations and real interest-rate differentials can only come out in inflation differentials. The implied inflation differentials are five to ten times larger than those implied by differences in productivity trends across US regions.

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  • Matthew Canzoneri & Robert Cumby & Behzad Diba & Gwen Eudey, 1998. "Trends in European Productivity: Implications for Real Exchange Rates, Real Interest Rates and Inflation Differentials," Working Papers 27, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:27
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirsten Lommatzsch & Silke Tober, 2006. "Euro-Area Inflation: does the Balassa–Samuelson effect matter?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, pages 105-136.
    2. Christian Just, 2004. "The International Financial Architecture: Official Proposals on Crisis Resolution," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 73-89.
    3. Jozef M. Van Brabant, 2001. "Exchange-rate policy in eastern Europe and EU integration," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(218), pages 219-248.
    4. António Portugal Duarte, 2005. "Purchasing power parity: an empirical study of three EMU countries," International Finance 0505010, EconWPA.
    5. John H. Rogers, 2002. "Monetary union, price level convergence, and inflation: how close is Europe to the United States?," International Finance Discussion Papers 740, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Kirsten Lommatzsch & Silke Tober, 2004. "The Inflation Target of the ECB: Does the Balassa-Samuelson Effect Matter?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 19, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    7. Stephen Cecchetti & Nelson C. Mark & Robert Sonora, 1998. "Price Level Convergence Among United States Cities: Lessons for the European Central Bank," Working Papers 32, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    8. Vladislav Flek & Lenka Markova & Jiri Podpiera, 2002. "Sectoral Productivity and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation: Much Ado about Nothing?," Working Papers 2002/04, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    9. Enrique Alberola & JosÈ Manuel MaquÈs, "undated". "On the revelance and nature of regional inflation differentials: The case of Spain," Studies on the Spanish Economy 35, FEDEA.
    10. M. Katsimi, 2004. "Inflation divergence in the euro area: the Balassa-Samuelson effect," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(5), pages 329-332.
    11. Jozef M. Van Brabant, 2001. "Exchange-rate policy in eastern Europe and EU integration," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(218), pages 219-248.
    12. Nils Björksten, 2000. "Economic Catching up in the Enlarged Euro Area: Implications for the Common Monetary Policy," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 52, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    13. 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.
    14. Enrique Alberola & JosÈ Manuel MaquÈs, "undated". "On the revelance and nature of regional inflation differentials: The case of Spain," Studies on the Spanish Economy 35, FEDEA.

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