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Francesco Zollino

4 May 2015
Since the mid-2000s price-competitiveness indicators for some euro-area countries have been providing conflicting signals. Against a stability of the producer price (PPI)-based measure, the manufacturing unit labour cost (ULCM)-deflated indicator points to a major competitiveness loss in Italy; we argue that the discrepancy mostly reflects a divergence of ULCM and PPI trends in competitor countries. Owing to the fading representativeness of labour on overall costs, price-based indicators appear to be more appropriate than those based on ULCMs to assess external competitiveness. In Italy ULC-based indicators play a less relevant role relative to price-deflated measures in explaining exports; the opposite holds true for Germany and France, whereas in Spain exports are insensitive to prices. Non-price competitiveness proves important in explaining Italian, German and, in particular, Spanish exports. Imports react to price-competitiveness dynamics only in Italy; considering the participation in global value chains is useful to correctly identify import sensitivity to domestic and foreign demand.
JEL Code
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
F62 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→Macroeconomic Impacts
Competitiveness Research Network
15 July 2015
This Compendium describes the contribution of CompNet to the improvement of the analytical framework and indicators of competitiveness. It does this by presenting a comprehensive database of novel competitiveness indicators. These are more than 80 novel indicators designed by CompNet members that capture macro, micro and cross-country dimensions, thus providing a comprehensive view of the competitive position of EU countries and their peers. A short description of each innovative indicator
JEL Code
F14 : International Economics→Trade→Empirical Studies of Trade
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F60 : International Economics→Economic Impacts of Globalization→General
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation