We investigate the key factors underlying business cycle synchronisation in the euro area applying the extreme-bounds analysis. We examine both traditional determinants and new, EMU-specific policy and structural indicators over the past 25 years. Our evidence seems to support the endogeneity hypothesis of the optimum currency area criteria. The implementation of the single market intensified bilateral trade across euro area countries and contributed to higher business cycle symmetry. The introduction of the single currency led to an intensification of intra-industry trade which has become the main driving force ensuring the coherence of business cycles. In addition, the set of robust determinants of business cycle synchronisation has varied over time, depending on the difference phases of the European construction, with fiscal policy, in addition to industrial and financial structures, playing a greater role during the completion of the Single Market, while short-term interest rate differentials and cyclical services have become more determinant since Economic and Monetary Union.
Economic and Monetary Union extreme-bounds analysis trade words: business cycle synchronisation