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Productivity differentials and external balance in ERM II


  • Marketta Henriksson

    (Bank of Finland)


Differences in growth, productivity and inflation levels are going to be a prominent feature of the future of EMU, as the convergence process is still ongoing in the new Member States. This convergence process can be described by the Balassa-Samuelson proposition, which states that faster growth in the traded goods sector than in the non-traded goods sector results in a rise in the price of non-traded goods and an appreciation of the trend real exchange rate. In this study, the aim is to construct a small open economy model that enables examination of the effects of Balassa-Samuelson-type growth in an intertemporal fixed exchange rate framework with a focus on the external balance. To address the well- known problems with small open economy models, an endogenous discount rate is used. The results imply that faster productivity growth in the traded than in the non-traded goods sector may induce external imbalances, leading to increased vulnerability of the economy. However, trade account deficits would appear to be a temporary phenomenon, as this line of development can be reversed by the natural shift in the composition of consumption towards nontraded goods that is characteristic of catch-up economies. In the meantime, fiscal policy plays a key role.

Suggested Citation

  • Marketta Henriksson, 2005. "Productivity differentials and external balance in ERM II," International Finance 0508013, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0508013
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
    2. Cottarelli, Carlo & Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Vladkova-Hollar, Ivanna, 2005. "Early birds, late risers, and sleeping beauties: Bank credit growth to the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Balkans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 83-104, January.
    3. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2003. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply-Side Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 103-124, March.
    4. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-153, February.
    5. repec:rus:hseeco:123846 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    small open economy; Balassa-Samuelson effect; ERM II; external balance;

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements


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