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Strategic Exchange-Rate Policy of Accession Countries in ERM II

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  • Christian Fahrholz

    () (Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, Free University Berlin)

Abstract

Exchange-rate policies of Central Eastern European Countries (CEEC) have often been a subject matter. Yet, some new insights in terms of political economy considerations upon exchange-rate policy are provided. It is pointed out that it is more appropriate to analyse exchange-rate policy in course of Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) with regard to a changing incentive structure. In doing so, considerable moral hazard problems become apparent. ERM II shall provide for an adequate level of convergence between prospective and current members of European Monetary Union (EMU). However, this institutional arrangement and, particularly, its impact on the incentives for exchange-rate policy making might enable CEEC to load considerable costs of convergence onto current members. Accordingly, the phase of ERM II is considered to be a bargaining on the distribution of costs of convergence between prospective and current members of EMU. In return, accession countries would offer to maintain public support for European integration. The CEEC’ leverage in this bargaining rests on brinkmanship, i.e. putting exchange-rate regimes at risk, thus possibly undermining the according public support. This paper delineates the basic assumptions and conditions for successful brinkmanship, points out the specific transmission mechanisms, and characterises this kind of exchange-rate policy as ‘threaten-thy-neighbour’. Overall analysis results in a cautious outlook on probable effects of such strategic exchange-rate policies on European institutional and economic matters.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Fahrholz, 2003. "Strategic Exchange-Rate Policy of Accession Countries in ERM II," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers wp14, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Apr 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:ezo:ezppap:wp14
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanns-Dieter Jacobsen et. al, 2004. "Economic, Political, Institutional as well as Social Risks and Opportunities of EMU Enlargement," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers wp22, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Jun 2004.
    2. Ansgar Belke & Ralph Setzer, 2003. "Exchange Rate Variability and Labor Market Performance in the Visegrád Countries," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 153-175, June.

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    Keywords

    brinkmanship; exchange-rate policy;

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