IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On optimality or non-optimality of the eurozone


  • Tomasz Brodzicki

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Gdansk)


Economic and Monetary Union is an unprecedented event in the monetary history of Europe. The eurozone since its creation 13 years ago expanded to 17 Member States and functioned relatively smoothly up to the outset of the global financial crisis. Only the severity of the subsequent eurozone crisis showed the actual scale of structural, institutional and governance problems it had. The differences between its core and peripheral regions became more than evident. In the present paper we discuss the optimality of the existing and the enlarged eurozone. Despite of the progress made, eurozone is far away from meeting the OCA criteria. Further enlargements, by increasing the overall internal diversity of the union, are likely to increase the gap. It seems however that even non-optimal monetary unions may function but at a significantly higher costs. In some cases the long term costs could even outweigh the benefits. The nominal convergence criteria are only partially consistent with the OCA theory, they are largely arbitrary and should be modified in the interest of the present eurozone as well as of acceding states.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomasz Brodzicki, 2012. "On optimality or non-optimality of the eurozone," Working Papers of Economics of European Integration Division 1201, The Univeristy of Gdansk, Faculty of Economics, Economics of European Integration Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:gda:wpaper:1201

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ignazio Angeloni & André Sapir, 2011. "The international monetary system is changing: what opportunities and risks for the euro?," Working Papers 632, Bruegel.
    2. Hugh Rockoff, 1999. "How Long Did It Take the United States to Become an Optimal Currency Area?," Departmental Working Papers 199910, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    3. Ricci, Luca Antonio, 2008. "A Model of an Optimum Currency Area," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-31.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Optimal Currency Areas," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 301-356 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1994. "Monetary and exchange rate arrangements for NAFTA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 125-165, February.
    6. Michael D. Bordo, 2003. "Exchange Rate Regime Choice in Historical Perspective," IMF Working Papers 03/160, International Monetary Fund.
    7. George Tavlas, 1994. "The theory of monetary integration," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 211-230, March.
    8. Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 2000. "A Return to the Convertibility Principle? Monetary And Fiscal Regimes in Historical Perspective," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 415, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung, 1999. "The Future of EMU: What Does the History of Monetary Unions Tell Us?," NBER Working Papers 7365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    eurozone; optimum currency area; economic and monetary integration; EMU; Maastricht criteria;

    JEL classification:

    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:gda:wpaper:1201. 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: (Tomasz Brodzicki). 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.