Current Account Balances and Structural Adjustment in the Euro Area
University of Leipzig - Institute for Economic Policy
Ansgar Hubertus Belke
University of Duisburg-Essen - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
University of Leipzig - Institute for Economic Policy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
March 1, 2010
Ruhr Economic Paper No. 176
In the past decade, a set of euro area countries has accumulated large current account deficits. After a brief relaxation of the euro area internal imbalances in the wake of the financial crisis, it appears as if this pattern arises anew when times normalize again and Germany still sticks to export-led growth. This issue has been labeled one of the most challenging economic policy issues for Europe inter alia by the European Commission and some other players on the EU level. In this paper, we analyze the role of private restructuring and structural reforms for the urgently needed sustainable readjustment of intra-euro area current account balances. A panel regression reveals a significant impact of structural reforms on intra-euro area current account balances. This implies that in particular structural reforms and wage restraint in notorious current account and budget deficit countries such as Greece are highly suitable to support long-term economic stability in Europe.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: Structural reforms, current account balances, euro area, dynamic panel estimation, interaction term
JEL Classification: E24, F15, F16, F32
Date posted: April 21, 2010
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