Open Access

Inflation Aversion in the European Union: Exploring the Myth of a North-South Divide (2015)

Abstract

Our study seeks to prove that German Stability Culture is a myth. The concept is a core legitimizing element of economic policy discourse in Germany and used regularly to juxtapose Germany and northern Europe and the euro area periphery. Using Eurobarometer surveys we construct a measurement for Stability Culture which is based on the priority assigned to the fight against inflation. Our empirical analysis covers the 2002 to 2010 timespan and includes 27 European Union Member States. Our results show that the distinction between northern states with an allegedly strong and southern states with an allegedly weak Stability Culture is a myth. Controlling for actual inflation, we find that the northern Member States with an allegedly high Stability Culture are less concerned with price stability than the rest of the EU. ; Intermediate version; University of Edinburgh, School of Law Research Paper 2015/34; Europa Institute Working Paper 2015/06