It takes three to tango: trade imbalances at the Eurozone

March, 2015
Pablo Bortz

The trade imbalances at the Eurozone for the 2000-2012 period are analyzed in this paper. A critical analysis of the different explanations focusing on the divergent course of labour costs and other indicators of price competitiveness is introduced here. These variables give rise to interpretations that are compatible with those of European authorities and of more heterodox currents as well. In contrast, this article emphasizes on the role of productive structures, specialization patterns and the different growth rates of domestic demand, both of Eurozone Members and of trade partners outside said monetary union. The findings aim at a more disaggregate view of intraregional trade as well as at an approach that incorporates factors related to capital movements and the performance of some emerging countries with high growth rates in recent years.