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What is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists

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  • Enrico Spolaore

Abstract

Europe’s monetary union is part of a broader process of integration that started in the aftermath of World War II. In this “political guide for economists” we look at the creation of the euro within the bigger picture of European integration. How and why were European institutions established? What are the goals and determinants of European Integration? What is European integration really about? We address these questions from a political-economy perspective, building on ideas and results from the economic literature on the formation of states and political unions. Specifically, we look at the motivations, assumptions, and limitations of the European strategy, initiated by Jean Monnet and his collaborators, of partially integrating policy functions in a few areas, with the expectation that more integration will follow in other areas, in a sort of chain reaction towards an “ever-closer union.” The euro with its current problems is a child of that strategy and its limits.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19122.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Publication status: published as Enrico Spolaore, 2013. "What Is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 125-44, Summer.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19122

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References

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  1. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 2004. "The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View," Scholarly Articles 4553004, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Klaus Desmet & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber , 2008. "Linguistic Diversity and Redistribution ," Working Papers 004-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
  3. Martin, Philippe & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2005. "Make Trade not War?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "War, Peace, and the Size of Countries," Scholarly Articles 4553002, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 2004. "The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
  6. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2006. "Conflict, Defense Spending, and the Number of Nations," Scholarly Articles 4553016, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Philip R. Lane, 2012. "The European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 49-68, Summer.
  9. Andrew Moravcsik, 1993. "Preferences and Power in the European Community: A Liberal Intergovernmentalist Approach," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 473-524, December.
  10. Frieden, Jeffry A., 2002. "Real Sources of European Currency Policy: Sectoral Interests and European Monetary Integration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 831-860, September.
  11. Dyson, Kenneth & Featherstone, Kevin, 1999. "The Road To Maastricht: Negotiating Economic and Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296386, Octomber.
  12. Barry Eichengreen, 2012. "European Monetary Integration with Benefit of Hindsight," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(S1), pages 123-136, 03.
  13. Geoffrey Garrett, 1993. "The Politics Of Maastricht," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 105-123, 07.
  14. Barry Eichengreen & Jeffry Frieden, 1993. "The Political Economy Of European Monetary Unification: An Analytical Introduction," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 85-104, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:cge:warwcg:141 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Nicola Acocella, . "The theoretical roots of EMU institutions and policies during the crisis," Working Papers 126/14, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
  3. Crafts, Nicholas, 2013. "What Does the 1930s’ Experience Tell Us about the Future of the Eurozone?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 142, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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