• C32;
  • E42;
  • F31;
  • F33


We show how a simple model with sign restrictions can be used to identify symmetric and asymmetric supply, demand and monetary policy shocks in an estimated two-country structural VAR for the UK and Euro area. The results can be used to deal with several issues that are relevant in the optimal currency area literature. We find an important role for symmetric shocks in explaining the variability of the business cycle in both economies. However, the relative importance of asymmetric shocks, being around 20% in the long run, cannot be ignored. Moreover, when we estimate the model for the UK and US, the degree of business cycle synchronization seems to be higher. Finally, we confirm existing evidence of the exchange rate being an independent source of shocks in the economy.