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Roberta Serafini

12 October 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 283
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Abstract
The consensus back in 2008 – ten years after the introduction of the euro – was that the adoption of a common currency had made a limited impact of around 2% in total on the trade flows of the first wave of euro area countries (Baldwin et al., 2008). Since then, six more countries have joined the euro area, and firms have internationalised their production processes. These two phenomena are interrelated and may have changed the way the common currency affects the euro area economy. Therefore, with the common currency now into its third decade – and with more countries queuing to adopt it – this paper revisits the trade effects of the euro, focusing on the newer euro adopters (i.e. those countries that have adopted the euro since 2007) and their interaction with the first wave of euro area members via supply chains. The contribution of the paper is twofold. First, it revisits the estimated aggregate impact of the euro on euro area trade, as well as on trade within and between the two waves of adopters. Data on bilateral flows between 1990 and 2015 for an extended sample of countries to estimate a gravity equation indicate a significant trade impact, ranging between 4.3% and 6.3% in total on average, with the magnitude being the highest for exports from the second wave of adopters to the first wave of adopters. If a synthetic control approach (Abadie and Gardeazabal, 2003; Abadie et al., 2010) is used instead, the estimated gains associated with euro adoption are greater. In particular, exports of both intermediate and final products from countries belonging to the first wave of euro adopters to those belonging to the second wave are estimated to have increased by about 30% using this approach. The second contribution made by this paper relates to the channels through which trade might be affected by a currency union. This question is explored by looking separately at trade in intermediate goods and final products. While we find that trade gains were mainly driven by trade in intermediate goods among countries that adopted the currency earlier (5.3%), our results also show that the euro had a positive effect on the exports of final products from the second wave of adopters to other euro area countries. This effect is as high as 10.6% with the gravity model and 32% with the synthetic control approach. One of the reasons for the difference in the range of estimates between the two approaches might be that the gravity model can control for unobserved characteristics via fixed effects, while the synthetic control approach may fail to do so. These results suggest that the euro facilitated the establishment and expansion of international production chains in Europe. In turn, this is likely to have increased business cycle synchronisation in the euro area and to have supported market access for later adopters.
JEL Code
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 268
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Abstract
The aim of this report is to foster a better understanding of past trends in, and drivers of, productivity growth in the countries of the European Union (EU) and of the interplay between productivity and monetary policy. To this end, a group of experts from 15 national central banks and the European Central Bank (ECB) joined forces and pooled data and expertise for more than 18 months to produce the report. Group members drew on the extensive research already conducted on productivity growth, including within the European System of Central Banks and in the context of the review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy, and worked together to conduct new analyses.After recalling the key facts and figures, the report looks into the predominant drivers of productivity growth in firms, with a focus on technology as a key determinant of aggregate productivity dynamics. It then discusses the main factors behind resource reallocation both across incumbent firms and as a result of the entry and exit of firms. Although productivity is a real-economy phenomenon and its evolution predominantly hinges on the structural features of the economy and national policies, the report also raises the question of the extent to which, and under what circumstances, monetary policy may affect productivity. In addition, it places productivity in a broader perspective by taking into account other important structural trends that are expected to have an impact on productivity in the medium-to-long run, such as globalisation, population ageing, climate change and digitalisation. Finally, the report considers the possible impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on productivity in EU countries. ...
JEL Code
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
D61 : Microeconomics→Welfare Economics→Allocative Efficiency, Cost?Benefit Analysis
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 263
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Abstract
This paper assesses how globalisation has shaped the economic environment in which the ECB operates and discusses whether this warrants adjustments to the monetary policy strategy. The paper first looks at how trade and financial integration have evolved since the last strategy review in 2003. It then examines the effects of these developments on global productivity growth, the natural interest rate (r*), inflation trends and monetary transmission. While trade globalisation initially boosted productivity growth, this effect may be waning as trade integration slows and market contestability promotes a winner-takes-all environment. The impact of globalisation on r* has been ambiguous: downward pressures, fuelled by global demand for safe assets and an increase in the propensity to save against a background of rising inequality, are counteracted by upward pressures, from the boost to global productivity associated with greater trade integration. Headline inflation rates have become more synchronised globally, largely because commodity prices are increasingly determined by global factors. Meanwhile, core inflation rates show a lower degree of commonality. Globalisation has made a rather modest contribution to the synchronised fall in trend inflation across countries and contributed only moderately to the reduction in the responsiveness of inflation to changes in activity. Regarding monetary transmission, globalisation has made the role of the exchange rate more complex by introducing new mechanisms through which it affects financial conditions, real activity and price dynamics. Against the background of this discussion, the paper then examines the implications for the ECB’s monetary policy strategy. In doing so, it asks two questions. How is the ECB’s economic and monetary analysis affected by globalisation? And how does globalisation influence the choice of the ECB’s monetary policy objective and instruments? ...
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
F44 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Business Cycles
F62 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Macroeconomic Impacts
F65 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Finance
22 February 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2528
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Abstract
The paper provides an ex-post analysis of the determinants of within-country regional heterogeneity of the labour market impact of COVID-19. By focussing on the first wave of the pandemic in the four largest euro area economies, it finds that the propagation of the economic impact across regions cannot be explained by the spread of infections only. Instead, a region’s economic structure is a significant driver of the observed heterogeneity. Moreover, our results suggest that a region's trade relations, both within and across countries, represent a relevant indirect channel through which COVID-19 related disruptions affect regional economic activity. In this regard, the analysis depicts vulnerabilities arising from potential disruptions of the highly integrated EU supply chains.
JEL Code
R11 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
J40 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Particular Labor Markets→General
R15 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Econometric and Input?Output Models, Other Models
2 February 2021
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - BOX
Economic Bulletin Issue 1, 2021
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Abstract
This box examines the drivers of intra-country regional differences in the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as observed in the four largest euro area economies during the initial phase of the pandemic. More specifically, it discusses how the interaction between government containment measures, sectoral structure and trade linkages helps explain the intra-country regional variations in the labour market impact of the pandemic. It finds that the different economic impact across regions cannot be explained solely by the spread of infections, a region’s economic structure is also a key determinant. Moreover, the trade relations of a region, both within and across countries, are found to be an important indirect channel through which coronavirus-related disturbances affect regional economic activity, highlighting vulnerabilities which may arise from disruptions to highly integrated EU supply chains.
JEL Code
R11 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
J40 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Particular Labor Markets→General
R15 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Econometric and Input?Output Models, Other Models
13 June 2019
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 224
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Abstract
Well-functioning economic structures are key for resilient and prospering euro area economies. The global financial and sovereign debt crises exposed the limited resilience of the euro area’s economic structures. Economic growth was masking underlying weaknesses in several euro area countries. With the inception of the crises, significant efforts have been undertaken by Member States individually and collectively to strengthen resilience of economic structures and the smooth functioning of the euro area. National fiscal policies were consolidated to keep the increase in government debt contained and structural reform momentum increased notably in the second decade, particularly in those countries most hit by the crisis. The strengthened national economic structures were supported by a reformed EU crisis and economic governance framework. However, overall economic structures in euro area countries are still not fully commensurate with the requirements of a monetary union. Moreover, remaining challenges, such as population ageing, low productivity and the implications of digitalisation, will need to be addressed to increase economic resilience and long-term growth.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E60 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F10 : International Economics→Trade→General
J11 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demographic Economics→Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
21 April 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2048
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Abstract
This paper illustrates the main features of the Labour Module of the CompNet dataset which provides indicators of firm growth over the period 1995-2012 across 17 EU (13 euro area) countries and 9 macro-sectors. It also includes information on a large set of micro-aggregated characteristics of firms growing at different speed such as their financial position and labour and total factor productivity. The paper shows that during the Great Recession the share of shrinking firms sharply increased in countries under stress, while firm growth slowed down in non-stressed countries. In the former, the construction sector suffered the most, while in the latter manufacturing and services related to transportation and storage were mainly affected, possibly as a result of the trade collapse. While we find that, all else equal, more productive firms had a higher probability of growing, the process of productivity-enhancing reallocation was muted during the Great Recession.
JEL Code
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
L25 : Industrial Organization→Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior→Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
Network
Competitiveness Research Network
31 October 2012
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 138
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Abstract
Between the start of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and early 2010, almost four million jobs were lost in the euro area. Employment began to rise again in the first half of 2011, but declined once more at the end of that year and remains at around three million workers below the pre-crisis level. However, in comparison with the severity of the fall in GDP, employment adjustment has been relatively muted at the aggregate euro area level, mostly due to significant labour hoarding in several euro area countries. While the crisis has, so far, had a more limited or shorter-lived impact in some euro area countries, in others dramatic changes in employment and unemployment rates have been observed and, indeed, more recent data tend to show the effects of a re-intensification of the crisis. The main objectives of this report are: (a) to understand the notable heterogeneity in the adjustment observed across euro area labour markets, ascertaining the role of the various shocks, labour market institutions and policy responses in shaping countries
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
5 January 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1284
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Abstract
A small labour market model for the six largest euro area countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium) is estimated in a state -space framework. The model entails, in the long run, four driving forces: a trend labour force component, a trend labour productivity component, a long-run inflation rate and a trend hours worked component. The short run dynamics is governed by a VAR model including six shocks. The state-space framework is convenient for the decomposition of endogenous variables in trends and cycles, for shock decomposition, for incorporating external judgement, and for running conditional projections. The forecast performance of the model is rather satisfactory. The model is used to carry out a policy experiment with the objective of investigating whether euro area countries differ in the labour market adjustment to a reduction in labour costs. Results suggest that, following the 2008-09 recession, moderate wage growth would significantly help delivering a more job-intense recovery.
JEL Code
C51 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Construction and Estimation
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
E17 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
18 April 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 61
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Abstract
Overall, the prospects for a continued and reasonably fast real convergence process between the EU 8 countries and the euro area are good. However, the continuation of the rapid progress made by many EU 8 countries in the past cannot be taken for granted. In fact, in order to ensure that fast economic growth in the EU 8 countries remains sustainable, it is crucial for these economies to take appropriate policy action. First it is important to recall that sound macroeconomic policies including credible monetary policy and appropriate fiscal policy are essential to ensure the appropriate framework conditions for further growth and convergence. Second, they need to address structural labour market problems, in particular by reducing regional and skill mismatches. Third, they must make further efforts to improve the business environment, in order to ensure that the capital accumulation process continues and R&D investments increase. Many of the above-mentioned facets of growth-enhancing policy will also help to ensure a continued inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), which in turn is expected to help accelerate the convergence process.
26 May 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 625
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Abstract
This paper investigates the determinants of the service sector employment share in the EU-15, for the aggregate service sector, four sub-sectors and twelve service sector branches. Recently, both Europe and the US have experienced an increase in the share of service-related jobs in total employment. Although converging in all European countries, a significant gap in the growth of service jobs in Europe relative to the US persists. Understanding the main factors behind this gap is key to achieving higher employment levels in Europe. This paper focuses on the role of barriers in the EU-15 which may have hindered its ability to absorb labour supply and therefore to adjust efficiently to the sectoral reallocation of labour. We find that a crucial role in this process has been played by the institutional framework affecting the setting up of new businesses and by the mismatch between workers' skills and job vacancies.
JEL Code
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J21 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
J23 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Labor Demand
J24 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Demand and Supply of Labor→Human Capital, Skills, Occupational Choice, Labor Productivity
L80 : Industrial Organization→Industry Studies: Services→General