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The Accession Economies’ Rocky Road to the Euro

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  • Eichengreen, Barry

Abstract

Now that the decision has been taken to admit to the European Union eight of what were once called the transition economies, attention has naturally turned to whether these countries should also join Europe’s monetary union. But where is a consensus that joining the EU, while posing certain difficulties, will be a source of net benefits, there is no such consensus about the adoption of the euro. In part this uncertainty reflects the unusual difficulty that monetary economists have in translating theory into policy. We specialists, in other words, cannot even agree amongst ourselves. In this lecture I suggest that this uncertainty is unwarranted. Adopting the euro is clearly superior to the other monetary options available to the new EU members. These countries are right to be committed to joining Euroland as soon as possible. And the incumbent members of the euro area should be happy to have them. To be sure, enlarging the monetary union will pose difficulties for both the incumbents and the new members. But these are minor compared to the difficulties that will arise under other scenarios. From this point of view, it is regrettable that the incumbents appear to be placing unnecessary obstacles in the path of the aspirants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley in its series Institute of European Studies, Working Paper Series with number qt07h5c51w.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bineur:qt07h5c51w

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Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/ies/

Related research

Keywords: Center for German and European Studies; economy; euro; finance; political; working paper;

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. Inci Ötker & Rupa Duttagupta, 2003. "Exits From Pegged Regimes," IMF Working Papers 03/147, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Krugman, Paul R, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-82, August.
  4. Barry J. Eichengreen & Inci Ötker & A. Javier Hamann & Esteban Jadresic & R. B. Johnston & Hugh Bredenkamp & Paul R. Masson, 1998. "Exit Strategies," IMF Occasional Papers 168, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Gleich, Holger, 2003. "Budget institutions and fiscal performance in Central and Eastern European countries," Working Paper Series 0215, European Central Bank.
  6. Mark Hallerberg & Lúcio Vinhas de Souza, 2000. "The Political Business Cycles of EU Accession Countries," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-085/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Hans-Werner Sinn & Michael Reutter, 2001. "The Minimum Inflation Rate for Euroland," NBER Working Papers 8085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Luis Felipe Cespedes & Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 2002. "IS-LM-BP in the Pampas," NBER Working Papers 9337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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