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The Effect of the Single Currency on Exports: Comparative Firm-level Evidence
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
We investigate how adopting the euro affects exports using firm-level data from Slovakia and Estonia. In contrast to previous studies, we focus on countries that adopted the euro individually and had different exchange rate regimes prior to doing so. Following the New Trade Theory we consider three types of adjustment: firm selection, changes in product varieties and changes in the average value of the exports that compose the exports of individual firms. The euro effect is identified by a difference in differences analysis comparing exports by firms to the euro area countries with exports to the EU countries that are not members of the euro area. The results highlight the importance of the transaction costs channel related to exchange rate volatility. We find the euro has a strong pro-trade effect in Slovakia, which switched to the euro from a floating exchange rate, while it has almost no effect in Estonia, which had a fixed exchange rate to the euro prior to the euro changeover. Our findings indicate that the euro effect manifested itself mainly through the intensive margin and that the gains from trade were heterogeneous across firm characteristics.
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers
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19.04.2018 • 7/2018
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2018: Germany’s Economic Experts Raise Forecast Slightly
Berlin, 19 April – Germany’s leading economic experts raised their forecasts for 2018 and 2019 slightly in their Spring Joint Economic Forecast released on Thursday in Berlin. They now expect economic growth of 2.2 percent for this year and 2.0 percent for 2019, versus 2.0 percent and 1.8 percent respectively in their autumn forecast. “The German economy is still booming, but the air is getting thinner as unused capacities are shrinking“, notes Timo Wollmershaeuser, ifo Head of Economic Forecasting. Commenting on the new German government’s economic policy, he adds: “It is precisely when the government’s coffers are full that fiscal policy should reflect the implications of its actions for overall economic stability and the sustainability of public finances. The extension of statutory pension benefits outlined in the coalition agreement runs counter to the idea of sustainability.”
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28.09.2017 • 35/2017
Joint Economic Forecast—Autumn 2017: Upturn Remains Robust—Amid Mounting Tensions
The German economic upturn has gained both in terms of strength and breadth. In addition to consumer spending, external trade and investments are now also contributing to economic expansion. These are the conclusions drawn by the economic research institutes in their autumn report for the German federal government. Whereas the very high economic momentum in the first half of the current year will slow slightly, expansion of economic output this year and next will exceed production capacity growth. As a result, overall capacity utilization will increase, with economic output exceeding potential output. Gross Domestic Product is likely to grow by 1.9 percent this year and by 2 percent in 2018 (calendar-adjusted: 2.2 and 2.1 percent, respectively).
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Musterknabe Osteuropa: Subventionskontrolle und staatliche Beihilfen
Ten years after the biggest enlargement in the history of the EU, the integration of the new member states is assessed positively. It is considered an economic success when looking at the income levels. However, due to overly optimistic assumptions and the crisis, economic integration and the catching-up process will take much longer for the new EU member states than originally expected. Moreover, new challenges are looming, especially as the Central and Eastern European accession countries adopt the euro. Smaller countries introduced the euro as quickly as possible, whereas larger countries have been much more hesitant, thinking twice not only because of several unsolved problems in the euro area but also because they use the exchange rate tool much more intensively. All new member states have to make sure they continue to increase their productivity and competitiveness. Findings suggest that after having entered the EU, the new eastern member states appear to have been developing rather stringent competition cultures. Bulgaria and Romania’s transition performance significantly differs from the pattern in the 2004 accession countries, both in terms of quantitative growth and institutional quality. These countries show that EU funds can be highly counter-productive since they help to conserve old structures.
The New EU Countries and Euro Adoption
In the new member states of the EU which have not yet adopted the euro, previous adoption strategies have come under scrutiny. The spillovers and contagion from the global financial crisis revealed a new threat to the countries’ real convergence goal, namely considerable vulnerability to the transmission of financial instability to the real economy. This paper demonstrates the existence of extreme risks for real convergence and argues in favour of a new adoption strategy which does not announce a target date for the currency changeover and which allows for more flexible and countercyclical monetary, fiscal and wage policies.