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The euro and its consequences: What makes a currency strong?

  • Helmut Frisch
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    The creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the introduction of the euro was one of the great events in economic history after World War II. The basic attractiveness of the euro is its large and expanding transaction size and the independent central bank which pursues price stability as its primary goal. The basic strength of the dollar is the hysteresis effect based on economies of scale and network externalities. The conclusion in the paper is that at present the hysteresis effect dominates the sheer size effect and the dollar remains the key vehicle currency while the euro has established itself as the second most widely used currency in the world. The euro depreciated against the dollar in the first three years after its introduction. In the paper the euro weakness is explained by the positive growth differential in favor of the U.S. economy caused by the advance in IC-technology and a pick-up in total factor productivity. In the medium run, the outlook for the euro is favorable. The U.S. current account deficit is unsustainable and improvements require a substantial depreciation of the dollar. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2003

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    Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 15-31

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:1:p:15-31
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