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Roger Stiegert

6 July 2007
The need for structural reforms in the euro area has often been advocated. These reforms would improve the welfare of euro area citizens and also, as a welcome side-effect, facilitate the conduct of monetary policy. Against this background, a particularly relevant question that can be posed is whether monetary policy should help implement structural reforms. The objective of this paper is to provide a review of the existing literature on structural reforms in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and to discuss the possible ways in which monetary policy could support the structural reform process. In the context of EMU, the main conclusions that emerge are that the monetary policy for the euro area is not the appropriate tool for mitigating the potential and uncertain short-term costs of reforms or for providing incentives for structural reforms at the national level. However, credible monetary policy aimed at price stability can improve the functioning of the supply side of the economy and contribute to an environment which is conducive to welfare-enhancing structural changes. In addition, the ECB's contribution to the implementation of structural reforms takes the form of analysis, assessment and communication.
1 June 2003
Over the past decades, cross-border financial flows have increased in importance and have in many occasions exceeded the underlying current account positions. This phenomenon has been accompanied by an increase in the volume of international equity transactions that accentuate the role of international risk sharing as a factor for the macroeconomic response to shocks. We use a stylised two-bloc, two-period model of the global economy, with a simple stochastic productivity shock affecting only one country. Efficient global risk-sharing imply that expected productivity gains in one country will attract equity inflows in excess of those needed to finance the current account. Upward-biased expectations about prospects for the productivity gains can further increase the risk exposure of foreign shareholders. The model is calibrated to show how ex post market losses ­ whether due to "normal" stock market downturn or ex ante over-optimism ­ are distributed and how they affect global consumption and current account positions. The results suggest that international spillover effects of stock market bubbles can contribute to business cycle synchronisation across economic areas.
JEL Code
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets