From October 24 to 26, 2019, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Greifswald and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels, will organize a Jean Monnet Workshop on „Current Account (Im-)Balances of the Euro Area and within the Euro Area Member Countries – Determinants and Policy Implications“, hosted by the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels.
Current account (im-)balances played a central role during the financial crisis. The large deficits of a number of euro area countries (in the South and the East) were widely considered unsustainable (at their peak often more than 10 % of GDP). But they have been largely corrected now. The swing of the so-called periphery from deficit to surplus has not been accompanied by a mirror movement of the core as the large surpluses of Germany and some of its neighbours (NL, DK, AT, etc.) continue unabated.
Questions to be addressed are the following: how can one explain large swings in current accounts in one group, but essentially no change in another group with close economic links? Why did some other countries, not part of or linked to the euro (e.g. Sweden, Switzerland) also run persistent surpluses?
It is often argued that the persistence of the German (and other core countries) surpluses made the adjustment more difficult for the rest of the euro area. Can this be quantified? What policy actions could the governments of the surplus core countries have undertaken to reduce their surpluses?
The combination of an unchanged surplus of Germany (and other core countries) with a large turn-around in much of the rest of the euro area has led to a large overall current account surplus of the euro area (over 3 % of GDP). This has created tensions at the global level as the US has remained in deficit (and the surplus of China has disappeared). The euro area surplus has been blamed for transatlantic trade tensions. A special focus will thus be on the current account (im-)balance of the euro area vis-a-vis the United States. Are the two linked and should policy try to address the ‘im’-balance on both sides (US deficit or EA surplus)? Papers matching those issues are welcome.
The workshop will be funded by the Erasmus+ Programme in the framework of the Jean Monnet Activities 2018 Call for Proposals EAC/A05/2017.
Please submit your paper or extended abstract by April 30th, 2019, via E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Preference will be given to full papers.
Authors will be informed about acceptance by May 30th, 2019.
Selected, excellent papers will be considered for a special issue in Journal of International Money and Finance on “Current Account (Im-)Balances of the Euro Area and within the Euro Area Member Countries – Determinants and Policy Implications“. Those papers will be subject to additional double blinded peer review.
Travel and accommodation
Please arrange your arrival in Brussels on October 23, 2019, since we will schedule presentations all day on October 24 and 25, 2019. Authors of accepted papers as well as discussants will receive 1.000 Euros to subsidize flight costs. Rooms including breakfast will be booked for all participants at the MotelOne Brussels, Rue Royale 120, 1000 Bruxelles (very close to the conference venue) by the conference organizers. Lunch and dinner are also provided for all participants of accepted papers and discussants from the evening of the 23rd to the evening of the 25th.
Ansgar Belke (University of Duisburg-Essen, CEPS Brussels and King’s College, London)
Joscha Beckmann (University of Greifswald and Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
Daniel Gros (Director, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels)