Currency Union, Free-Trade Areas, and Business Cycle Synchronization

JEL codes: 
C12, C13, C14, C15, C32, E32, F15
Version Date: 
Mar 2011

Since the 1970s the characteristics of international business cycles have changed and deeper economic integration has modified the features of cross-country comovement. We formally test for correlation shifts in measures of real economic activity and economic/financial integration. In Europe we find some statistically significant evidence of higher correlations following the creation of the EMU in 1999 for several subgroups of countries. We detect significantly more pronounced correlations between Mexico and the US and between Mexico and Canada in North America after the enforcement of the NAFTA in 1994. Results are derived from an econometric framework based on nonparametric iterated stationary bootstrap methods, whose statistical reliability and performance we assess through Monte Carlo simulations.

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