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Trade imbalances within the Euro Area: two regions, two demand regimes

Giovanni Covi

Empirica, 2021, vol. 48, issue 1, No 9, 221 pages

Abstract: Abstract Greater trade integration, convergence in economic performance and a high level of employment among member states: this was why the Euro Area was created. In this respect, the paper analyses the sources of trade imbalances within the Euro Area, focusing on the direct trade relationship—intra-EA trade—between surplus and deficit countries. The econometric evidence based on a VAR/SVAR methodology suggests that asymmetric wage shocks determine asymmetric gains from intra-EA trade, resulting from opposing growth strategies. In addition, the empirical evidence shows that the Euro Area is divided into two economic regions representing different demand regimes: a northern region, which is profit-led and a southern region, which is wage-led. The paper suggests that wage coordination is an essential macroeconomic tool but is insufficient to achieve trade and economic integration given the current state of divergence. Thus, a trade-based transfer mechanism is proposed to restore convergence in the Euro Area.

Keywords: Wage share; Euro Area; Trade imbalances; Demand regime; SVAR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E12 F15 F45 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10663-020-09477-3

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