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What determines European real exchange rates?


  • Berka, Martin
  • Devereux, Michael B.


We study a newly constructed panel data set of relative prices for a large number of consumer goods among 31 European countries over a 15 year period. The data set includes eurozone members both before and after the inception of the euro, floating exchange rate countries of western Europe, and emerging market economies of Eastern and Southern Europe. We find that there is a substantial and continuing deviation from PPP at all levels of aggregation, both for traded and non-traded goods, even among eurozone members. Real exchange rates exhibit two clear properties in the sample; a) they are closely tied to GDP per capita relative to the European average, at all levels of aggregation and for both cross country time series variation, b) they are highly positively correlated with cross country and time series variation in the relative price of non-traded goods. We then construct a simple two-sector endowment economy model of real exchange rate determination which exhibits these two properties, calibrated to match the data. Simulating the model using the historical relative GDP per capita for each country, we find that for most countries, there is a very close fit between the actual and simulated real exchange rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Berka, Martin & Devereux, Michael B., 2011. "What determines European real exchange rates?," Working Paper Series 1687, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:1687

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux, 2013. "Trends in European real exchange rates," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 28(74), pages 193-242, April.
    2. repec:gei:jnlfer:v:1:y:2016:i:2:p:101-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zvi Eckstein & Amit Friedman, 2011. "The equilibrium real exchange rate for Israel," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Capital flows, commodity price movements and foreign exchange intervention, volume 57, pages 201-213 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2014. "Real exchange rate determination and the China puzzle," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 28(2), pages 1-32, November.
    5. Óscar Afonso & Tiago Sequeira, 2017. "Tradable and nontradable directed technical change," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2017_02, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
    6. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2012. "Real Exchange Rate Adjustment in and out of the Eurozone," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 179-185, May.
    7. repec:fip:feddgm:00014 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Claudia M. Buch, 2013. "From the Stability Pact to ESM - What Next?," Chapters,in: Stability of the Financial System, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Hirakata, Naohisa & Iwasaki, Yuto & Kawai, Masahiro, 2014. "Emerging Economies' Supply Shocks and Japan's Price Deflation: International Transmissions in a Three-Country DSGE Model," ADBI Working Papers 459, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    10. Rudolfs Bems & Julian di Giovanni, 2016. "Income-Induced Expenditure Switching," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(12), pages 3898-3931, December.
    11. Chaban, Maxym, 2011. "Home bias, distribution services and determinants of real exchange rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 793-806.
    12. Karine Gente & Carine Nourry, 2011. "Integration, real exchange rate and growth," Working Papers halshs-00643043, HAL.
    13. Naeem Ur Rehman Khattak & Muhammad Tariq & Jangraiz Khan, 2012. "Factors Affecting the Nominal Exchange Rate of Pakistan: An Econometric Investigation (1982-2008)," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 2(2), pages 421-428, June.

    More about this item


    real exchange rate; GDP; European countries; relative prices;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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