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Price convergence in the European Union – What has changed?

Aleksandra Hałka and Agnieszka Leszczyńska-Paczesna

Economic Modelling, 2019, vol. 79, issue C, 226-241

Abstract: This paper investigates price convergence in European Union countries using disaggregated price level indices in the period 1999–2016. Our results show that prices of both tradable and nontradable goods had a significantly lower dispersion in 2016 than in 1999. The convergence was faster in the case of countries with price level below the average, which can be interpreted as catching-up. However, further analysis shows that most prices converged only up to 2008. While prices of transport equipment continue to converge across the European Union, several durable consumption categories show price divergence after 2008. We attribute this to the drop in international trade of durable products due to increasing inflation and exchange rates volatility following the global financial crisis. From the monetary policy perspective, the existing price-level gaps, shown in our study, may pose a risk of higher inflation, especially in catching-up economies.

Keywords: Price convergence; Price dispersion; Sigma convergence; European countries; Dynamic panel data analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 E31 F02 F41 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2018.11.002

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