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The Eurozone Crisis: Muddling through on the Way to a More Perfect Euro Union?

  • Joshua Aizenman

    ()

    (Economics and International Relations, University of Southern California, VKC 330, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA)

Taking a historical perspective of economic changes, this paper argues that muddling through crises-induced reforms characterizes well the evolutionary process of forming currency unions. The economic distortions facing the euro include structural challenges in the labor and product markets, and financial distortions. While both structural and financial distortions are costly and prevalent, they differ in fundamental ways. Financial distortions are moving at the speed of the Internet, and their welfare costs are determined more by the access to credit lines and leverage, than by the GDP of each country. In contrast, the structural distortions are moving at a slow pace relative to the financial distortions, and their effects are determined by inter-generational dynamics. These considerations suggest that the priority should be given to dealing with the financial distortions. A more perfect Eurozone is not assured without successfully muddling through painful periodic crises.

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Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 2 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 221-233

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:4:p:221-233:d:29682
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  1. Michael D. Bordo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1998. "What If Alexander Hamilton Had Been Argentinean? A Comparison of the Early Monetary Experiences of Argentina and the United States," NBER Working Papers 6862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2012. "Target loans, current account balances and capital flows: The ECB’s rescue facility," Munich Reprints in Economics 19556, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Beirne, John & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2012. "The Pricing of Sovereign Risk and Contagion during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 9249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. De Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei, 2013. "Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: An empirical test," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 15-36.
  5. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1982. "Free banking, wildcat banking, and shinplasters," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  6. Philippine Cour-Thimann & Bernhard Winkler, 2012. "The ECB’s non-standard monetary policy measures: the role of institutional factors and financial structure," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 765-803, WINTER.
  7. Paul de Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2013. "Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: an empirical test," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49648, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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