Economic Convergence in the Euro Area: Coming Together or Drifting Apart?

Author/Editor:

Jeffrey R. Franks ; Bergljot B Barkbu ; Rodolphe Blavy ; William Oman ; Hanni Schoelermann

Publication Date:

January 23, 2018

Electronic Access:

Free Full Text. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

We examine economic convergence among euro area countries on multiple dimensions. While there was nominal convergence of inflation and interest rates, real convergence of per capita income levels has not occurred among the original euro area members since the advent of the common currency. Income convergence stagnated in the early years of the common currency and has reversed in the wake of the global economic crisis. New euro area members, in contrast, have seen real income convergence. Business cycles became more synchronized, but the amplitude of those cycles diverged. Financial cycles showed a similar pattern: sychronizing more over time, but with divergent amplitudes. Income convergence requires reforms boosting productivity growth in lagging countries, while cyclical and financial convergence can be enhanced by measures to improve national and euro area fiscal policies, together with steps to deepen the single market.

Series:

Working Paper No. 18/10

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

January 23, 2018

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484338490/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2018010

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

47

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