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Current Account Imbalances and Real Exchange Rates in the Euro Area*

Michael Arghyrou and Georgios Chortareas

Review of International Economics, 2008, vol. 16, issue 4, 747-764

Abstract: Global current account imbalances have been one of the focal points of interest for policymakers during the last few years. Less attention has been paid, however, to the diverging current account balances of the individual euro area countries. In this paper we consider the dynamics of current account adjustment and the role of real exchange rates in current account determination in the EMU countries. After controlling for the effects of income growth, we find the relationship between real exchange rates and current accounts to be substantial in size and subject to nonlinear effects. We find that real exchange rates can offer further insights, beyond the effects of the income catch‐up process, relevant to current account determination in the EMU.

Date: 2008
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