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The Eurozone: Piecemeal Approach to an Optimum Currency Area

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  • Heinz Handler

    (WIFO)

Abstract

Soon after the establishment of the Eurozone it became obvious that the structural differences between member countries would not abate, as expected, but rather gradually widen. Although part of the problem can be attributed to the enlargement process, it also relates to asymmetric effects of the common currency and to diverging economic policies. This paper discusses the literature which associates the economic characteristics of EMU with arguments of the optimum currency area (OCA) theory and asks for missing capstones that would meliorate EMU to eventually resemble an OCA. As potential candidates for such building blocks, some sort of fiscal union and lender of last resort may qualify, drawing on the experiences of other currency unions and federal states. The financial and debt crisis has revealed that the endogenous forces within a currency union may be too slow to absorb the shocks originating from the crisis. For a currency union to survive in such a situation it is all the more important that the OCA criteria are met and/or that complementary institutions are in place. However, as actual developments in the Eurozone reveal, the political process of approaching an OCA is piecemeal rather than comprehensive and prompt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 446.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 25 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2013:i:446

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  1. Andrew Ang & Francis A. Longstaff, 2011. "Systemic Sovereign Credit Risk: Lessons from the U.S. and Europe," NBER Working Papers 16982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tamim Bayoumi, 1994. "A Formal Model of Optimum Currency Areas," IMF Working Papers 94/42, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1995. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is there a European Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1191, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Carlo Altavilla, 2004. "Do EMU Members Share the Same Business Cycle?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5), pages 869-896, December.
  5. Michael J. Artis, 2002. "Reflections on the Optimal Currency Area (OCA) criteria in the light of EMU," Working Papers 69, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  6. Joshua Aizenman & Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2010. "On the ease of overstating the fiscal stimulus in the US, 2008-9," NBER Working Papers 15784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  8. Bertrand Candelon & Rabah Arezki & Amadou N. R. Sy, 2011. "Are there Spillover Effects From Munis?," IMF Working Papers 11/290, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Oral Williams & Olumuyiwa Adedeji, 2007. "Fiscal Reaction Functions in the CFA Zone," IMF Working Papers 07/232, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Ederer & Peter Reschenhofer, 2013. "Macroeconomic Imbalances in the EU," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 42, WWWforEurope.
  2. Stefan Ederer & Stefan Weingärtner, 2013. "Remapping EMU. On the future Construction of Economic and Monetary Union," WWWforEurope Policy Paper series 5, WWWforEurope.

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