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Marcin Przybyla

16 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 453
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Abstract
In this paper we explore the link between the intensity of product market competition and inflation rates across EU countries and sectors. We consider long-term averages of inflation rates in order to remove the cyclical behavior of inflation over time and as alternative proxies of competition we use the level of mark-up, profit margin, the profit rate and a survey based "intensity of competition" variable. Results for both aggregate and sectoral panels show that the extent of product market competition, as proxied by the level of mark-up in particular, is an important driver of inflation. Notwithstanding some caveats associated with the measurement of the proxies of competition used, our findings suggest that higher product market competition reduces average inflation rates for a prolonged period of time. Moreover, results both at the aggregate and sectoral level are generally confirmed by a wide set of robustness tests.
JEL Code
C21 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Cross-Sectional Models, Spatial Models, Treatment Effect Models, Quantile Regressions
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
18 April 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 61
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Abstract
Overall, the prospects for a continued and reasonably fast real convergence process between the EU 8 countries and the euro area are good. However, the continuation of the rapid progress made by many EU 8 countries in the past cannot be taken for granted. In fact, in order to ensure that fast economic growth in the EU 8 countries remains sustainable, it is crucial for these economies to take appropriate policy action. First it is important to recall that sound macroeconomic policies including credible monetary policy and appropriate fiscal policy are essential to ensure the appropriate framework conditions for further growth and convergence. Second, they need to address structural labour market problems, in particular by reducing regional and skill mismatches. Third, they must make further efforts to improve the business environment, in order to ensure that the capital accumulation process continues and R&D investments increase. Many of the above-mentioned facets of growth-enhancing policy will also help to ensure a continued inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI), which in turn is expected to help accelerate the convergence process.