van Riet, Ad Ernst, Ekkehard Madaschi, Christophe Orlandi, Fabrice Rivera, Alvaro Santos Robert, Benoît Döpke, Jörg Backinezos, Constantina Bardakas, Ioanna Mora, Esther Gordo Barontini, Christian Cassidy, Mark Trento, Sandro Walch, Erik Buitenkamp, Bouke Wagner, Karin Reis, Hugo Herrala, Risto Sethi, Faisel Gustavsson, Kurt Labhard, Vincent
This paper analyses trends in sectoral specialisation in the EU and concludes the following: 1) The European production structure appears more homogenous than that of the US. 2) While sectoral specialisation has shown a slight increase in some smaller euro area countries towards the end-1990s, it is too early to detect any potential impact of EMU. 3) Despite some changes in sectoral composition, the business cycles of euro area countries became more synchronised over the 1990s, which may be seen as reassuring from the point of view of the single monetary policy. 4) Sectoral re-allocation accounts for as much as 50% of the increase in labour productivity growth in business sector services in the euro area. 5) The slowdown of European labour productivity growth relative to the US since the mid-1990s is explained by a stronger performance in the US wholesale and retail trade, financial intermediation and high-tech manufacturing sectors.