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Heterogeneity within the euro area: New insights into an old story

Virginie Coudert (), Cécile Couharde, Carl Grekou () and Valérie Mignon ()

No 2019-6, EconomiX Working Papers from University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F33 F45 E5 C38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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