This paper explores the behavior of profits in the four largest euro area countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) and the euro area as a whole, while at the same time considering three main sectors (manufacturing, construction and services) in each economy over the period 1988–2010. The paper presents stylized facts about profit developments and, applying a vector autoregressive modeling framework, discusses the sensitivity of profits to four distinctive structural shocks (a demand shock, an employment shock, a wage and price mark-up shocks). In addition, it provides the shock decomposition of historical developments in profits across countries and sectors.
JEL Codes: C32, E23, E25.
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