Jakob de Haan

Trade and Business Cycle Synchronization in OECD Countries. A Re-Examination

This paper re-examines the relationship between trade intensity and business cycle synchronization for 21 OECD countries in the period 1970–2003. Instead of using instrumental variables, we estimate a multivariate model including variables capturing specialization and similarity of economic policies. We confirm that trade intensity affects synchronization, but the effect is much smaller than previously reported. Other factors, like specialization and convergence in monetary and fiscal policies, have a similar impact on business cycle synchronization as trade intensity.

Regional Business Cycle Synchronization in Europe?

We analyse regional business cycle synchronization in the Euro Area, using Gross Value Added in 53 NUTS 1 regions for a period of thirty years (1975-2005), detrended by Hodrick-Prescott and the Christiano-Fitzgerald filters. We conclude that, on average, synchronization has increased for the period considered with exceptions during the eighties and the beginning of the nineties. Still, the correlation of the business cycle in some regions with the benchmark remained low or even decreased. Our findings also support the hypothesis of the existence of a ‘national border’ effect.

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