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Real Effective Exchange Rate Misalignment in the Euro Area: A Counterfactual Analysis

Were real effective exchange rates (REER) of Euro area member countries drastically misaligned at the outbreak of the global financial crisis? The answer is difficult to determine because economic theory gives no simple guideline for determining the equilibrium values of real exchange rates, and the determinants of those values might have been distorted as well. To overcome these limitations, we use synthetic matching to construct a counterfactual economy for each member as a linear combination of a large set of non-Euro area countries. We find that Euro area crisis countries are best described by a mixture of advanced and emerging economies. Comparing the actual REER with those of the counterfactuals gives sensible estimates of the misalignments at the start of the crisis: All peripheral countries were strongly overvalued, while high undervaluation is only observed for Finland.

21. Mai 2014

Autoren Makram El-Shagi Axel Lindner Gregor von Schweinitz

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Real Effective Exchange Rate Misalignment in the Euro Area: A Counterfactual Analysis

Makram El-Shagi Axel Lindner Gregor von Schweinitz

in: Review of International Economics , Nr. 1, 2016

Abstract

The European debt crisis has revealed severe imbalances within the Euro area, sparking a debate about the magnitude of those imbalances, in particular concerning real effective exchange rate misalignments. We use synthetic matching to construct a counterfactual economy for each member state in order to identify the degree of these misalignments. We find that crisis countries are best described as a combination of advanced and emerging economies. Comparing the actual real effective exchange rate with those of the counterfactuals gives evidence of misalignments before the outbreak of the crisis: all peripheral countries appear strongly and significantly overvalued.

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