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Maastricht and the Choice of Exchange Rate Regime in Transition Countries During The Run-Up to EMU

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  • György Szapáry

    ()
    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

Abstract

This paper raises some specific issues concerning the choice of exchange rate regime in transition countries during the run-up to EU/EMU membership. It argues that there is no “one-size-fits-all” exchange rate regime that accession countries should uniformly adopt. It also argues that the Maastricht criterion on inflation is inconsistent with the catching-up process because of the Balassa-Samuelson effect and that this inconsistency will encourage a “weighing-in” syndrome: like the boxer who refrains from eating for hours prior to the weigh-in only to consume a big meal once the weigh-in is over, the candidate country will maintain very tight monetary policy and resort to all sorts of techniques (freezing of administered prices, lowering of consumption taxes, etc.) to squeeze down inflation prior to accession only to shift back gears after it has joined the EMU. Indeed, the convergence of short-term interest rates to EMU levels that will come with accession will automatically mean a loosening of monetary policy after the country has become a member of the monetary union. That loosening will be reinforced if the country had previously allowed its exchange rate to appreciate against the euro. The result of this stop-go cycle is that the efficiency of economic management will suffer. It would be better to recognize the principle of the Balassa-Samuelson effect explicitly in the Maastricht criteria by giving more room for maneuver than the one provided by the present rule. The paper makes suggestions on how the Maastricht criterion on inflation could be adjusted and discusses their merits. It concludes that a reasonable compromise would be to define the permissible inflation deviation in reference to the average inflation rate of the euro zone, not the three EU members with the lowest inflation rate.

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File URL: http://english.mnb.hu/Root/Dokumentumtar/MNB/Kiadvanyok/mnbhu_mnbfuzetek/mnbhu_MF2000_7/wp2000_7.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary) in its series MNB Working Papers with number 2000/7.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnb:wpaper:2000/7

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Cited by:
  1. Lucjan T. Orlowski, 2005. "Monetary Policy Adjustments on the Final Passage towards the Euro," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0294, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  2. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/722 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Orlowski, Lucjan T. & Rybinski, Krzysztof, 2006. "Implications of ERM2 for Poland's monetary policy," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 346-365, December.
  4. John Lewis, 2007. "Hitting and Hoping? Meeting the Exchange Rate and Inflation Criteria during a Period of Nominal Convergence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1902, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. György Szapary, 2003. "Les critères de Maastricht sont-ils trop sévères ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 71(2), pages 225-244.
  6. Jonas, Jiri, 2006. "Euro adoption and Maastricht criteria: Rules or discretion?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 328-345, December.
  7. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Jazbec, Bostjan, 2004. "Real exchange rate dynamics in transition economies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 83-100, March.
  8. Andreas Freytag, 2004. "EMU Enlargement: Which Concept of Convergence to Apply?," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft 11/2004, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  9. Fabio M. Natalucci & Federico Ravenna, 2002. "The road to adopting the euro: monetary policy and exchange rate regimes in EU candidate countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 741, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Helge Berger & Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar, 2003. "Restructuring the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 1084, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Maurel Mathilde, 2004. "Financial integration, exchange rate regimes in CEECs, and joining the EMU : Just do it..," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques j04027a, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  12. Egert, Balazs, 2002. "Estimating the impact of the Balassa-Samuelson effect on inflation and the real exchange rate during the transition," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-16, April.
  13. Václav Žďárek, 2009. "Challenges for the new EU member states on the road to the Eurozone," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 157-177, July.
  14. Václav Žďárek & Jaromír Šindel, 2007. "Real and Nominal Convergence and the New EU Member States - Actual State and Implications," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2007(3), pages 195-219.
  15. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2005. "Monetary convergence of the EU accession countries to the eurozone: A theoretical framework and policy implications," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 203-225, January.
  16. Siklos, Pierre L. & Abel, Istvan, 2002. "Is Hungary ready for inflation targeting?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 309-333, December.
  17. Peter Backé & Jarko Fidrmuc & Thomas Reininger & Franz Schardax, 2002. "Price Dynamics in Central and Eastern European EU Accession," Working Papers 61, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  18. Mathilde Maurel, 2004. "Financial Integration, Exchange Rate Regimes in CEECs, and joining the EMU : Just Do It," Sciences Po publications n°650, Sciences Po.

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