Balassa-Samuelson Effect

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Balassa-Samuelson Effect'

Countries with high productivity growth also experience high wage growth, which leads to higher real exchange rates. The Balassa-Samuelson effect suggests that an increase in wages in the tradable goods sector of an emerging economy will also lead to higher wages in the non-tradable (service) sector of the economy. The accompanying increase in inflation makes inflation rates higher in faster growing economies than it is in slow growing, developed economies.

The effect was proposed by economists Bela Balassa and Paul Samuelson in 1963.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Balassa-Samuelson Effect'

The Balassa-Samuelson effect suggests that the optimal inflation rate for developing economies is higher than it is for developed countries. Developing economies grow by becoming more productive and using land, labor and capital more efficiently. This results in wage growth in both the tradable good and non-tradable good components of an economy. People consume more goods and services as their wages increase, which in turn pushes up prices.

As emerging economies develop and become more productive they also see increased wages, but they see these increases in both tradable and non-tradable goods sectors of the economy. When wages increase at a slower rate than productivity, countries wind up producing more than they can consume. These countries then have a current-account surplus. When wages grow faster than the productivity rate, workers consumer more goods and the current-account surplus falls.

The effect an appreciating real exchange rate has on an emerging economy depends on whether the country has a fixed exchange rate or floating exchange rate. Fixed exchange rate economies will see an increase in overall prices, while floating exchange rates will see increases in the exchange rate.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange Rate

    The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. ...
  2. Floating Exchange Rate

    A country's exchange rate regime where its currency is set by ...
  3. Fixed Exchange Rate

    A country's exchange rate regime under which the government or ...
  4. Factor Market

    A marketplace for the services of a factor of production.
  5. Endowment Effect

    The endowment effect describes a circumstance in which an individual ...
  6. Freelance Economy

    A freelance economy revolves around hiring self-employed workers ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can individuals or businesses handle transaction costs for economic externalities?

    Externalities, also known as external economies, and transaction costs are two significant and evolving issues in contemporary ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do externalities represent profit opportunities?

    Economic externalities expose market transactions where the full costs or benefits of economic activity are not being internalized ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How is the rule of 70 related to the growth rate of a variable?

    The rule of 70 is related to the growth rate of a variable because it uses the growth rate in its approximation of the number ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does a large multiplier effect signify?

    The multiplier effect depends on banks' reserve requirements. In macroeconomics, if a country exhibits a large multiplier ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the criteria for a simple random sample?

    Simple random sampling is the most basic form of sampling and can be a component of more precise, more complex sampling methods. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do any markets not exhibit asymmetric information?

    Asymmetric information, when interpreted literally, means that two parties to an economic transaction have different information ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Investing In Emerging Market Debt

    This asset class has left much of its unstable past behind. Find out how to invest in it.
  2. Forex Education

    The New World Of Emerging Market Currencies

    Take advantage of foreign currency markets without stepping out of your house.
  3. Economics

    Volatility In The Yen Has Brought On Big Changes

    There's a difference between translation effects and the real effects that FX swings bring. We look at the difference, and how it's changing Japan.
  4. Savings

    The 5 Countries With The Lowest Interest Rates

    Interest rates in many nations are at record low levels as of May 2015. We look at the five nations with the lowest rates.
  5. Economics

    Venezuela: Portrait of a Country in Turmoil

    Venezuela is floundering, and the story has more to do with just the falling price of oil.
  6. Forex

    The Gold Standard Versus Fiat Currency

    What do "gold standard" and "fiat system" mean for currencies and economies? Investopedia explores the history of the gold standard and the rise of fiat.
  7. Economics

    What Does Asymmetric Information Mean?

    Asymmetric information describes a situation where one party in a transaction knows more than the other.
  8. Economics

    What is Productivity?

    Productivity is an economic term describing the relationship between outputs as compared to inputs needed to produce those outputs.
  9. Economics

    How the UK Makes Money

    The United Kingdom has one of the strongest economies in the world thanks to the strength of its services, manufacturing and tourism sectors.
  10. Economics

    Will The US Economy Rebound In The 2nd Quarter?

    Most investors know that U.S. 1st quarter growth numbers aren’t pretty. Economic statistics have been missing expectations by the largest margin since 2009

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Stop-Loss Order

    An order placed with a broker to sell a security when it reaches a certain price. A stop-loss order is designed to limit ...
  2. Covered Call

    An options strategy whereby an investor holds a long position in an asset and writes (sells) call options on that same asset ...
  3. Butterfly Spread

    A neutral option strategy combining bull and bear spreads. Butterfly spreads use four option contracts with the same expiration ...
  4. Unlevered Beta

    A type of metric that compares the risk of an unlevered company to the risk of the market. The unlevered beta is the beta ...
  5. Moving Average - MA

    A widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out the “noise” from random ...
  6. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
Trading Center