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

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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Paper provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its series Working Papers with number 27.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 06 Jun 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:27
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  1. De Gregorio, Jose & Giovannini, Alberto & Wolf, Holger C., 1994. "International evidence on tradables and nontradables inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1225-1244, June.
  2. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  3. Jose De Gregorio & Thomas Krueger & Alberto Giovannini, 1993. "The Behavior of Nontradable Goods Prices in Europe; Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 93/45, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Perspectives on PPP and Long-Run Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1990. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," NBER Working Papers 3566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Canzoneri, Matthew B & Diba, Behzad & Fudey, Gwen, 1996. "Trends in European Productivity and Real Exchange Rates: Implications for the Maastricht Convergence Criteria and for Inflation Targets after EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 1417, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," CEPR Discussion Papers 643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad, 1999. "Relative labor productivity and the real exchange rate in the long run: evidence for a panel of OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-266, April.
  10. Patrick K. Asea, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: An Overview," UCLA Economics Working Papers 710, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Ng, S. & Perron, P., 1994. "Unit Root Tests ARMA Models with Data Dependent Methods for the Selection of the Truncation Lag," Cahiers de recherche 9423, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  12. Asea, Patrick K & Corden, W Max, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: An Overview," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 191-200, October.
  13. Kenneth Froot & Kenneth Rogoff & Olivier Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, . "The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency," Working Paper 32216, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  14. Hall, Alastair R, 1994. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series with Pretest Data-Based Model Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 461-70, October.
  15. S. Micossi & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1994. "Real Exchange Rates and the Prices of Nontradable Goods," IMF Working Papers 94/19, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
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