The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper attempts to provide a perspective on real exchange rate developments following the inception of the EMS. The focus is on structural determinants of real exchange rates, notably the behavior of tradables and nontradable prices and productivity. It is found that changes in the relative price of tradable goods in terms of nontradables account for a sizable fraction of real exchange rate dynamics during the EMS period. Sectoral productivity growth differential help explain the behavior of the relative price of tradable goods, especially in the long run. There is also some evidence that the EMS has extended on relative price behavior.