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The Eurozone Sovereign Debt Problem: What It Means for U.S. Exports

Mathew Shane and David Kelch ()

International Advances in Economic Research, 2012, vol. 18, issue 4, 367-381

Abstract: The European sovereign debt problem became the focus of world attention in 2010, when the interest rates on Greek government bonds rose dramatically, requiring immediate action by the European Union to avoid an imminent default. It has become clear that the problem is not limited to Greece, but a more general problem of the fundamental imbalances and underlying inconsistencies in the Eurozone economic system of using a single currency for a set of countries that lack a unified economic and political system. Financial markets reacted to the debt offering of the other deficit countries in the Eurozone by increasing interest rates on their sovereign debt as well. The major consequences are likely to be largely felt by the Eurozone countries themselves, some of whom will be forced to go through significant structural adjustments over the coming years. The adjustment process could generate a range of alternative macroeconomic outcomes for affected countries—including differences in growth, exchange rates, and investment—which could have significant implications for U.S. trade. This paper attempts to allay some of that uncertainty by exploring a wide range of alternative global macroeconomic outcomes and their potential impact on U.S. exports. The analysis extends the work done in a previous paper which focused on U.S. agricultural exports and its major components. While U.S. exports vary across the scenarios, continued strong economic growth in developing countries supports demand for U.S. exports. Because the EU has represented a declining share of U.S. exports, the direct impact of changes in European demand affects U.S. exports less than the secondary effects of changes in exchange rates and global investment patterns associated with alternative EU outcomes. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2012

Keywords: Eurozone crisis; U.S. exports; Macroeconomic policy; Real exchange rates; Macroeconomic adjustments; European Union-euro; Depreciation; Sovereign debt; E02; F24; F36; F42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1007/s11294-012-9373-0

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