Productivity Growth and the Real Appreciation of the Accession Countries' Currencies
In the process of catch-up growth the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have experienced a transition to the production of higher-quality goods. We incorporate this effect in a theoretical model of exchange rates and econometrically estimate its impact on equilibrium real exchange rates. We find support for our hypothesis that productivity increases in industry can be regarded as one source of the observed PPI-based real appreciation of the accession countries’ currencies. The productivity gains experienced during economic catch-up occur as higher-quality goods are produced and imply an increased export capacity as well as import substitution. To some extent real appreciation can therefore be viewed as an equilibrium phenomenon.
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