Catching-up and Inflation in Transition Economies: The Balassa-Samuelson Effect Revisited

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Bank for International Settlements, Monetary and Economic Department, 2008 - Convergence (Economics) - 25 pages
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This paper estimates the Balassa-Samuelson effects for 11 countries in central and eastern Europe on a disaggregated set of quarterly data covering the period from the mid-1990s to the first quarter of 2008. The Balassa-Samuelson effects are clearly present and explain around 24% of inflation differentials vis--vis the euro area (about 1.2 percentage points on average); and around 84% of domestic relative price differentials between non-tradables and tradables; or about 16% of total domestic inflation (about 1.1 percentage points on average). The paper presents mixed evidence on whether the Balassa-Samuelson effects have declined since 2001 compared with the second half of the 1990s.

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