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European Integration at the Crossroads: A Review Essay on the 50th Anniversary of Bela Balassa's Theory of Economic Integration

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  • André Sapir

Abstract

Bela Balassa's Theory of Economic Integration, published fifty years ago, is a remarkable, yet little known book. This essay reviews developments in the economic literature and in the process of European integration since the book's publication, showing that it was incredibly prescient. It anticipated by more than twenty years the modern literature on economic integration that emphasizes scale economies, imperfect competition, and economic geography. It also predicted that monetary union cannot function properly without political unification, a condition well illustrated by the recent euro-debt crisis that is likely to be a watershed in the history of European integration. (JEL B31, F15, F36, G01)

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  • André Sapir, 2011. "European Integration at the Crossroads: A Review Essay on the 50th Anniversary of Bela Balassa's Theory of Economic Integration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1200-1229, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:49:y:2011:i:4:p:1200-1229
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.49.4.1200
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    9. David B. Audretsch & Erik E. Lehmann, 2016. "Industrial policy in Italy and Germany: yet another look," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(3), pages 291-304, September.
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    11. WARBURTON Christopher E.S., 2014. "Time Dynamics Of Stabilization Theories And Responses To Debt And Financial Crises: An Analysis Of Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria And Ghana, 1960-2011," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(2).
    12. Ambroziak, Adam A. & Grochowska, Renata, 2018. "Mechanisms of non-tariff bariers in agri-food trade between Poland and the Chech Republic on the intra-EU market," Problems of Agricultural Economics / Zagadnienia Ekonomiki Rolnej 276625, Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics - National Research Institute (IAFE-NRI).
    13. Nauro F Campos & Fabrizio Coricelli, 2017. "EU Membership, Mrs Thatcher’s Reforms and Britain’s Economic Decline," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(2), pages 169-193, June.
    14. Christian Keuschnigg, 2012. "Should Europe Become a Fiscal Union?," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 13(01), pages 35-43, April.
    15. Andrea Bonilla‐Bolaños, 2021. "A step further in the theory of regional integration: A look at the South American integration strategy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(5), pages 845-873, July.
    16. Vera Eichenauer & Ronald Indergand & Isabel Z. Martínez & Christoph Sax, 2020. "Constructing Daily Economic Sentiment Indices Based on Google Trends," KOF Working papers 20-484, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
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    20. Neumann, Dirk & Bargain, Olivier & Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Fiscal Union in Europe? Efficiency, Equity and Stabilizing Effects of an EU-Wide Income Tax," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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