CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Heterogeneity within the Euro Area: New Insights into an Old Story

Virginie Coudert
Cécile Couharde
Carl Grekou
Valérie Mignon

 Highlights :
  • This article provides a new framework for assessing the sustainability of the EMU.
  • We identify two distinct groups of countries in the run-up to the EMU, Greece being clearly an outlier at that time.
  • We find that disparities have increased across and within countries’ groups, and that Greece has become more peripheral over time.

 Abstract :
We assess cross-country heterogeneity within the eurozone and its evolution over time by measuring the distances between the equilibrium exchange rates’ paths of member countries. These equilibrium paths are derived from the minimization of currency misalignments, by matching real exchange rates with their economic fundamentals. Using cluster and factor analyses, we identify two distinct groups of countries in the run-up to the European Monetary Union (EMU), Greece being clearly an outlier at that time. Comparing the results with more recent periods, we find evidence of rising dissimilarities between these two sets of countries, as well as within the groups themselves. Overall, our findings illustrate the building-up of macroeconomic imbalances within the eurozone before the 2008 crisis and the fragmentation between its member countries that followed.

 Keywords : Euro Area | Equilibrium Exchange Rates | Cluster Analysis | Factor Analysis | Macroeconomic Imbalances

 JEL : F33, C38, F45, E5

Related articles and documents :

  • "Les pays de la zone euro sont-ils suffisamment homogènes pour partager la même monnaie ?", Revue d'Economie Financière
  • "Heterogeneity within the euro area: New insights into an old story", Economic Modelling

  • CEPII Working Paper
    N°2019-05, March 2019

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     Fields of expertise

    Money & Finance