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On the brink? Intra-euro area imbalances and the sustainability of foreign debt

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  • Körner, Finn Marten
  • Zemanek, Holger

Abstract

In this paper we study the intra-euro area imbalances based on a dynamic general equilibrium model. We show that European financial integration and the introduction of the euro might have contributed to the development of imbalances. Interest rate convergence following EMU accession led to net foreign debt positions, which prove difficult to reverse. Simulation results for the euro area suggest that current account imbalances and foreign debt positions of today's crisis countries have significantly diverged from a sustainable path. Increasing investment in the EMU core and productivity in crisis countries may permit a return to sustainable foreign debt levels and correct macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area.

Suggested Citation

  • Körner, Finn Marten & Zemanek, Holger, 2012. "On the brink? Intra-euro area imbalances and the sustainability of foreign debt," Working Papers 109, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:leiwps:109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "The intertemporal approach to the current account," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1731-1799 Elsevier.
    2. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-248, April.
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    4. Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "Capital Taxation and Accumulation in a Life Cycle Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 533-544, September.
    5. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Philip R. Lane & Barbara Pels, 2012. "Current Account Imbalances in Europe," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp397, IIIS.
    7. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    8. Robert Mundell, 2000. "Currency Areas, Exchange Rate Systems and International Monetary Reform," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 217-256, November.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Francesco Trebbi, 2006. "Who Adjusts and When? On the Political Economy of Reforms," NBER Working Papers 12049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gunther Schnabl & Holger Zemanek, 2011. "Inter-temporal savings, current account trends and asymmetric shocks in a heterogeneous European Monetary Union," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 46(3), pages 153-160, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gnimassoun, Blaise, 2015. "The importance of the exchange rate regime in limiting current account imbalances in sub-Saharan African countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 36-74.
    2. Gnimassoun, Blaise & Coulibaly, Issiaka, 2014. "Current account sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does the exchange rate regime matter?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 208-226.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    current account imbalances; euro area; foreign debt; sustainability; general equilibrium model;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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