What’s Really the Story with this Balassa-Samuelson Effect in the CEECs?

Wagner, Martin; Hlouskova, Jaroslava (September 2004). What’s Really the Story with this Balassa-Samuelson Effect in the CEECs? (Discussion Papers 04-16). Bern: Department of Economics

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This paper offers a detailed assessment of the Balassa-Samuelson (BS) effect in eight Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC8). Several features distinguish this study
from others: First, we investigate a variety of specifications of extended models. Nonhomogeneity of wages, deviations from PPP in tradables and demand side variables are
found to importantly contribute to explain inflation differentials. Second, a variety of
specifications is investigated. Third, we rely upon bootstrap inference for panel unit root
and panel cointegration analysis. The bootstrap results are rather clear: No evidence for
cointegration remains when resorting to bootstrap inference. To quantify the bias that
may arise from incorrectly using cointegration techniques, we also quantify the BS effect
from equations containing (nonstationary) ‘cointegration’ terms. Fourth, we present inflation simulations based on well specified scenarios.
The results are as follows: Evidence for the BS effect is found. The BS effect is, however, rather small (around half a percent per annum) and not sufficient to explain the
observed inflation differentials between the CEEC8 and the EU11. Using, despite the lacking evidence, cointegration techniques results throughout in substantially larger estimated
effects. This suggests that studies relying upon cointegration may have overestimated the
BS effect. The additional explanatory variables in the extended BS models allow for a satisfactory modelling of the observed inflation rates. The mean inflation simulations for the CEEC8 countries, based on the extended models, range from 2.77% for the Slovak Republic to 6.75% for Poland. These are well above the 2% inflation objective for the European Monetary Union

Item Type:

Working Paper


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Wagner, Martin


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics


Discussion Papers


Department of Economics




Lars Tschannen

Date Deposited:

16 Sep 2020 17:08

Last Modified:

16 Sep 2020 17:08

JEL Classification:

F02, O40, O57, P21, P27





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