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Davor Kunovac

23 September 2022
We propose a new and time-varying optimum currency area (OCA) index for the euro area in assessing the evolution of the OCA properties of the monetary union from an international business cycle perspective. It is derived from the relative importance of symmetric vs. asymmetric shocks that result from a sign and zero restricted open-economy structural vector autoregression (VAR) model. We argue that the euro area is more appropriate through the lens of empirical OCA properties when the relative importance of common symmetric shocks is high, but, at the same time, is not overly dispersed across euro area member countries. We find that symmetric shocks have been the dominant drivers of business cycles across euro area countries. Our OCA index, nevertheless, shows that cyclical convergence among euro area members is not a steady process as it tends to be disrupted by crises, especially those not primarily triggered by common external shocks. In the aftermath of a crisis the OCA index embarks on a recovery trajectory catching up with its pre-crisis level. Our OCA index is slow-moving and a good reflection of changing underlying economic structures across the euro area and, therefore, informative about the ability of monetary policy to stabilise the euro area economy in the medium run.
JEL Code
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F44 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Business Cycles
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
9 January 2018
This paper studies the cyclical properties of real GDP, house prices, credit, and nominal liquid financial assets in 17 EU countries, by applying several methods to extract cycles. The estimates confirm earlier findings of large medium-term cycles in credit volumes and house prices. GDP appears to be subject to fluctuations at both business-cycle and medium-term frequencies, and GDP fluctuations at medium-term frequencies are strongly correlated with cycles in credit and house prices. Cycles in equity prices and long-term interest rates are considerably shorter than those in credit and house prices and have little in common with the latter. Credit and house price cycles are weakly synchronous across countries and their volatilities vary widely – these differences may be related to the structural properties of housing and mortgage markets. Finally, DSGE models can replicate the volatility of cycles in house and equity prices, but not the persistence of house price cycles.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
25 January 2017
In this paper we analyse the exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) in the euro area as a whole and for four euro area members - Germany, France, Italy and Spain. For that purpose we use Bayesian VARs with identi?cation based on a combination of zero and sign restrictions. Our results emphasize that pass-through in the euro area is not constant over time - it may depend on a composition of economic shocks governing the exchange rate. Regarding the relative importance of individual shocks, it seems that pass-through is the strongest when the exchange rate movement is triggered by (relative) monetary policy shocks and the exchange rate shocks. Our shock-dependent measure of ERPT points to a large but volatile pass-through to import prices and overall very small pass-through to consumer in?ation in the euro area.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
Task force on low inflation (LIFT)