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Adjusting to the Euro

  • Gabriel Fagan
  • Vítor Gaspar

In this paper we argue that, for a group of converging economies of the European Union, participation in the euro area has been associated with easier access to financing by domestic economic agents. Easier access to financing was a significant impulse leading to a sharp increase in households' expenditures and a corresponding fall in the savings ratio. Increased expenditure was associated with current account deficits, a sharp fall in the net foreign asset position and an increase in the households' indebtedness. At the same time there was a sizeable increase in the real exchange rate. In this paper, we show that it is possible to obtain all these qualitative features of adjustment using a simple analytical model of intertemporal equilibrium. Specifically, we consider a simple endowment economy with traded and non-traded goods populated by Blanchard-Yaari households. We also argue that the consideration of external habit formation improves the model's ability to mimic short to medium term adjustment dynamics while, at the same time, improving the plausibility of steady state effects.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200703.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200703
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  1. Mansoorian, Arman, 1993. "Habit persistence and the Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect in an infinite horizon model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 153-166, February.
  2. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  3. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  5. Robert-Paul Berben & Alberto Locarno & Julian Morgan & Javier Vallés, 2005. "Cross-country differences in monetary policy transmission," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0502, Banco de Espa�a.
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  7. Lane, Philip R., 2006. "The Real Effects of EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 5536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Favero, Carlo A. & Giavazzi, Francesco & Iacone, Fabrizio & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Extracting information from asset prices: The methodology of EMU calculators," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1607-1632, October.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2002. "Current Account Deficits in the Euro Area: The End of the Feldstein Horioka Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 147-210.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  12. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Nicholai Benalal & Juan Luis Diaz del Hoyo & Beatrice Pierluigi & Nikiforos Vidalis, 2006. "Output growth differentials across the euro area countries - some stylised facts," Occasional Paper Series 45, European Central Bank.
  14. Gruber, Joseph W., 2004. "A present value test of habits and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1495-1507, October.
  15. Neary, Peter, 1988. "Determinants of the Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 210-15, March.
  16. David S. Bates, 1999. "Financial Markets' Assessment of EMU," NBER Working Papers 6874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & Vega, Juan Luis, 2006. "What effects is EMU having on the euro area and its member countries? An overview," Working Paper Series 0599, European Central Bank.
  18. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1992. "International Adjustment with Habit-Forming Consumption: A Diagrammatic Exposition," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 32-48, November.
  19. Velculescu Delia, 2004. "Intergenerational Habits, Fiscal Policy, and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, September.
  20. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
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