The euro and the competitiveness of European firms

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Series Details No.57, January 2009, p5-54
Publication Date January 2009
ISSN 0266-4658
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Abstract: Much attention has been paid to the impact of a single currency on actual trade volumes. Lower trade costs, however, matter over and beyond their effects on trade flows: as less productive firms are forced out of business by the tougher competitive conditions of international markets, economic integration fosters lower prices and higher average productivity. We assess the quantitative relevance of these effects calibrating a general equilibrium model using country, sector and firm-level empirical observations. The euro turns out to have increased the overall competitiveness of Eurozone firms, and the effects differ along interesting dimensions: they tend to be stronger for countries which are smaller or with better access to foreign markets, and for firms which specialize in sectors where international competition is fiercer and barriers to entry lower.

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