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Diego Rodriguez Palenzuela

23 September 2022
We propose a new and time-varying optimum currency area (OCA) index for the euro area in assessing the evolution of the OCA properties of the monetary union from an international business cycle perspective. It is derived from the relative importance of symmetric vs. asymmetric shocks that result from a sign and zero restricted open-economy structural vector autoregression (VAR) model. We argue that the euro area is more appropriate through the lens of empirical OCA properties when the relative importance of common symmetric shocks is high, but, at the same time, is not overly dispersed across euro area member countries. We find that symmetric shocks have been the dominant drivers of business cycles across euro area countries. Our OCA index, nevertheless, shows that cyclical convergence among euro area members is not a steady process as it tends to be disrupted by crises, especially those not primarily triggered by common external shocks. In the aftermath of a crisis the OCA index embarks on a recovery trajectory catching up with its pre-crisis level. Our OCA index is slow-moving and a good reflection of changing underlying economic structures across the euro area and, therefore, informative about the ability of monetary policy to stabilise the euro area economy in the medium run.
JEL Code
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F44 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Business Cycles
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
22 August 2022
We estimate the euro area output gap by applying the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition based on a large Bayesian vector autoregression. Our approach incorporates multivariate information through the inclusion of a wide range of variables in the analysis and addresses data issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The estimated output gap lines up well with the CEPR chronology of the business cycle for the euro area and we find that hours worked, more than the unemployment rate, provides the key source of information about labor utilization in the economy, especially in pinning down the depth of the output gap during the COVID-19 recession when the unemployment rate rose only moderately. Our findings suggest that labor market adjustments to the business cycle in the euro area occur more through the intensive, rather than extensive, margin.
JEL Code
C18 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Methodological Issues: General
E17 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles