Convergence of shocks and trade in the enlarged European Union
ABSTRACT This paper explores the relation between trade flows and cross-country symmetry of supply and demand shocks using data from the EU-27 countries. Increased bilateral trade intensity is found to have a positive impact on the correlation of both demand and supply shocks. Intra-industry trade is found to be positively linked to correlations of supply-side shocks but negatively linked to correlations of demand shocks. Our results thus provide support for the argument that aggregate demand spillovers and intra-industry trade, rather than specialization, dominate in the process through which trade flows affect the cross-country transmission of shocks in Europe. At the same time, our estimates suggest that monetary-policy convergence in Europe (the circulation of the euro), while having increased symmetry of supply-side shocks, has had no direct favourable impact on symmetry of demand shocks. By contrast, the process of fiscal-policy convergence is found to have resulted in more correlated demand shocks across the EU member states.