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Are euro area inflation rates misaligned?

Lopez, Claude and Papell, David (2010): Are euro area inflation rates misaligned?

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We study the behavior of inflation rates among Euro countries. More specifically, we are interested in testing whether and when group convergence dictated by the Maastricht treaty occurs, and we assess the impact of events such as the advent of the Euro and the 2008 financial crisis. Due to the small size of the estimation sample, we propose a new procedure that increases the power of panel unit root tests when used to study group-wise convergence. Applying this new procedure to Euro Area inflation, we find strong and lasting evidence of convergence among the inflation rates soon after the implementation of the Maastricht treaty and a dramatic decrease in the persistence of the differential after the occurrence of the single currency. Furthermore, while we find divergence among some of the Euro countries prior to the 2008 financial crisis, the convergence is strengthened after the crisis for all countries except Greece.

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