Multi countries paths and ride your curve

I’m afraid so….. or better fortunately MALTA, due to its size, is out of the radar….I know the curve and it is moving up and right….

We plot on the horizontal axis per capita GDP (US dollars at PPP), on the vertical asset the net foreign assets-to-GDP ratio (%). When a countries moves to the right, its inhabitants earn more on average. When it moves down, its domestic sectors (households, firms, government) becomes more indebted with foreign creditors.

We measure these variables in four different years for eleven Eurozone countries: 1999 (the beginning), 2004 (start of the Hartz III reform in Germany), 2008 (the Lehman crisis) and 2013 (latest data available for the NFA to GDP ratio), and we join the data points in order to make the patterns easier to read.

Some countries moved down over time (i.e., they became more indebted with other countries): Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, France. At the end of the period, in at least four of these countries the income was falling (the line bends leftwards): Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland (in Portugal income is not rising…).

Some other countries have moved up (became less indebted or accumulated net foreign claims): Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland and of course Germany. In one of them (Finland) income was decreasing at the end of the period considered. In some others (the Netherlands) income growth during the crisis stopped. Only Germany and (partly) Austria experienced a satisfactory growth in the crisis years.

Summing up, Eurozone countries are diverging both in financial terms (some gets more indebted and – or because – some other become more rich), and in real terms (the convergence between the level of incomes slowed down because a number of countries falled behind, including at least a country that was able to become a net foreign creditor: Finland).

Needless to say, this is only the economic side of the question…

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