Working Paper BETA #2016-19

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Title : Interest rates, Eurobonds and intra-European exchange rate misalignments: The challenge of sustainable adjustments in the Eurozone.

Author(s) : Vincent Duwicquet, Jacques Mazier, Jamel Saadaoui

Abstract : The euro crisis shed lights on the nature of alternative adjustment mechanisms in a monetary union characterized by a large heterogeneity. Exchange rate adjustments being impossible, it remains very few efficient alternative mechanisms. At the level of the whole eurozone the euro is close to its equilibrium parity. But the euro is strongly overvalued for Southern European countries, France included, and largely undervalued for Northern European countries, especially Germany. This paper gives a new evaluation of these exchange rate misalignments inside the eurozone, using a FEER approach, and examines the evolution of competitiveness. In a second step, we use a two-country SFC model of a monetary union with endogenous interest rates and Eurobonds issuance. Three main results are found. Firstly, facing a competitiveness loss in southern countries due to exchange rates misalignments, increasing intra-European financing by banks of northern countries or other institutions could contribute to reduce the debt burden and induce a partial recovery but public debt would increase. Secondly, the implementation of Eurobonds as a tool to partially mutualize European sovereign debt would have a rather similar positive impact, but with a public debt limited to 70 percent of GDP. Finally, Eurobonds could also be used to finance large European projects which could impulse a stronger recovery in the entire zone with stabilized current account imbalances. However, the creation of a European institution in charge of the issuance of the Eurobonds would face strong political obstacles.

Key-words : Euro Crisis, Exchange Rate Misalignments, Eurobonds, Interest Rate.

JEL Classification : F31, F32, F37, F41, E12.