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The Maastricht Inflation Criterion: What is the Effect of Expansion of the European Union?

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  • John Lewis
  • Karsten Staehr

Abstract

Following the Maastricht criteria, a country seeking to join the European Monetary Union cannot have an inflation rate in excess of 1.5 percent plus the average inflation rates in the three 'best performing' EU countries. This inflation reference value is a non-increasing function of the number of EU members. Looking backwards, the effect of increasing the number of EU countries from 15 to 27would have been sizeable in 2003 and 2004, but relatively modest since 2005. Monte Carlo simulations show that the expansion of the EU from 15 to 27 members reduces the expected inflation reference value by 0.15-0.2 percentage points, but with a considerable probability of a larger reduction. The treatment of countries with negative inflation rates in the calculation of the reference value has a major impact on the results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 151.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:151

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Keywords: Maastricht Treaty; European Monetary Union; inflation; convergence.;

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  1. Jonas, Jiri, 2006. "Euro adoption and Maastricht criteria: Rules or discretion?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 328-345, December.
  2. Balázs Égert & Imed Drine & Kirsten Lommatzsch & Christophe Rault, 2005. "The Balassa-Samuelson Effect in Central and Eastern Europe: Myth or Reality?," Documents de recherche 05-15, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  3. Calmfors, Lars & Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2007. "The EEAG Report on the European Economy 2007," Munich Reprints in Economics 20006, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  5. Peter B. Kenen & Ellen E. Meade, 2003. "EU Accession and the Euro: Close Together or Far Apart?," Policy Briefs PB03-09, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  6. Buiter, Willem H, 2004. "To Purgatory and Beyond: When and How Should the Accession Countries from Central and Eastern Europe Become Full Members of EMU?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4342, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Dobrinsky, Rumen, 2006. "Catch-up inflation and nominal convergence: The balancing act for new EU entrants," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 424-442, December.
  8. John Lewis, 2007. "Hitting and Hoping? Meeting the Exchange Rate and Inflation Criteria During a Period of Nominal Convergence," DNB Working Papers 130, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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