IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A strategy for launching the Euro


  • Obstfeld, Maurice


This paper analyses the constraints European Union law places on the 1 January 1999 choices of irrevocably fixed conversion rates between the euro and the currencies of EMU members states. Current EU legislation, notably the Maastricht Treaty, requires that the bilateral currency conversion factors implied by the 1 January 1999 choices equal closing market exchange rates on 31 December 1998. Given that legal constraint, there still exist several strategies for choosing the relative prices of EMU member currencies against the euro. Unfortunately, most of these have potentially damaging side effects. One approach, based on official Stage 2 offers of contingent euro forward contracts with value dates at the start of Stage 3, allows a highly credible preannouncement of the bilateral currency conversion factors to be set at the start of EMU. That approach assumes, however, that no prospective EMU members can withdraw between their selection in May 1998 and the start of Stage 3.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Obstfeld, Maurice, 1998. "A strategy for launching the Euro," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 975-1007, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:42:y:1998:i:6:p:975-1007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. P. De Grauwe & L. Spaventa, 1997. "Setting conversion rates for the third stage of EMU," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(201), pages 131-146.
    2. John Kareken & Neil Wallace, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-222.
    3. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1991. "The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 269-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. De Grauwe, Paul, 1997. "The Indeterminacy of the Euro Conversion Rates. Why it Matters and How it can be Solved," CEPR Discussion Papers 1677, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Mussa, Michael, 1976. " The Exchange Rate, the Balance of Payments and Monetary and Fiscal Policy under a Regime of Controlled Floating," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 229-248.
    6. De Grauwe, Paul, 1996. "How to Fix Conversion Rates at the Start of EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 1530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Costas N. Kanellopoulos, 2012. "The Size and structure of uninsured employment," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 23-41, December.
    2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1998. "EMU: Ready, or Not?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt8qn3v8j3, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Charles Wyplosz, 1997. "EMU: Why and How It Might Happen," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 3-21, Fall.
    4. Wilfling, Bernd, 2009. "Volatility regime-switching in European exchange rates prior to monetary unification," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 240-270, March.
    5. Siebert, Horst, 1998. "Die Europäische Währungsunion: was zu tun und was zu lassen ist," Kiel Working Papers 854, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Bernd Wilfling, 2003. "Interest Rate Volatility Prior to Monetary Union under Alternative Pre-Switch Regimes," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4, pages 433-457, November.
    7. Jean-Sébastien Pentecôte & Marc-Alexandre Sénégas, 2003. "Comment fixer les cours de change?. Annonces et correspondances maastrichtiennes," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 69(1), pages 39-71.
    8. P. De Grauwe & L. Spaventa, 1997. "Setting conversion rates for the third stage of EMU," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(201), pages 131-146.
    9. Petros M. Migiakis, 2012. "Reviewing the proposals for common bond issuances by the euro-area sovereign under a long-term perspective," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 43-54, December.
    10. Mark Trede & Bernd Wilfling, 2007. "Estimating exchange rate dynamics with diffusion processes: an application to Greek EMU data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 23-39, July.
    11. Ioana Laura Valeanu, 2012. "Challenges Of The Economic And Monetary Union In The Context Of The Economic Crisis," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4(4), pages 866-877, December.
    12. Kaikati, Jack G., 1999. "The Euro versus the U.S. dollar: an overview," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 171-192, July.
    13. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:866-877 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Zacharias Bragoudakis & Dimitrios Sideris, 2012. "Do retail gasoline prices adjust symmetrically to crude oil price changes? the case of the Greek oil market," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 7-21, December.
    15. Syllignakis, Manolis N. & Kouretas, Georgios P., 2011. "Markov-switching regimes and the monetary model of exchange rate determination: Evidence from the Central and Eastern European markets," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 707-723.
    16. De Grauwe, Paul & Dewachter, Hans & Veestraeten, Dirk, 1999. "Price dynamics under stochastic process switching: some extensions and an application to EMU1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 195-224, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:42:y:1998:i:6:p:975-1007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.