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The Maastricht Inflation Criterion; How Unpleasant Is Purgatory?

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  • Ales Bulir
  • Jaromír Hurník

Abstract

The Maastricht inflation criterion, designed in the early 1990s to bring "high-inflation" EU countries in line with "low-inflation" countries prior to the introduction of the euro, poses challenges for both new EU member countries and the European Central Bank. While the criterion has positively influenced the public stance toward low inflation, it has biased the choice of the disinflation strategy toward short-run, fiat measures-rather than adopting structural reforms with longer-term benefits-with unpleasant consequences for the efficiency of the eurozone transmission mechanism. The criterion is also unnecessarily tight for new member countries as it mainly reflects cyclical developments.

Suggested Citation

  • Ales Bulir & Jaromír Hurník, 2006. "The Maastricht Inflation Criterion; How Unpleasant Is Purgatory?," IMF Working Papers 06/154, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/154
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    1. Angelini, E. & Dieppe, A. & Pierluigi, B., 2015. "Modelling internal devaluation experiences in Europe: Rational or learning agents?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 81-92.
    2. Juraj Antal & Zuzana Antonicova & Michal Hlavacek & Tomas Holub & Roman Horvath & Jaromir Hurnik & Ondrej Kamenik & Karel Musil & Lubos Ruzicka & Jal Vlcek, 2009. "CNB Economic Research Bulletin: Evaluation of the Fulfilment of the CNB's Inflation Targets 1998-2007," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, edition 1, volume 7, number rb07/1 edited by Jan Babecky & Katerina Smidkova.
    3. Monica SUSANU, 2014. "Trilemma EU and EMU Challenges: Fiscal Competition, Harmonization or Unification," Economics and Applied Informatics, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 3, pages 109-116.
    4. Vlastimir Vukovic & Aleksandar Zdravkovic, 2011. "The Inflation and Exchange Rate in the Five Balkan Countries from Maastricht Convergence Criteria Prospect," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    5. Alena Bicakova & Kamil Dybczak & Ales Krejdl & Jiri Slacalek & Michal Slavik, 2007. "CNB Economic Research Bulletin: Fiscal Policy and its Sustainability," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, edition 2, volume 5, number rb05/2 edited by Ian Babetskii & Vladimir Bezdek.
    6. Jan Babecký & Aleš Bulíř & Kateřina šmídková, 2009. "Sustainable real exchange rates in the new EU Member States: Is FDI a mixed blessing?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 368, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    7. Martin Cihak & Wim Fonteyne, 2009. "Five Years After; European Union Membership and Macro-Financial Stability in the New Member States," IMF Working Papers 09/68, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Ashoka Mody & Franziska L Ohnsorge, 2007. "Can Domestic Policies Influence Inflation?," IMF Working Papers 07/257, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Severine Menguy, 2010. "Enlargement of the Economic and Monetary Union: To which Structurally Heterogeneous Countries?," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 53-70.
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    12. Ian Babetskii & Ales Bulir & Fabrizio Coricelli & Jan Filacek & Michal Franta & Roman Horvath & Branislav Saxa & Katerina Smidkova, 2008. "CNB Economic Research Bulletin: Ten Years of Inflation Targeting," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, edition 1, volume 6, number rb06/1 edited by Ian Babetskii & Katerina Smidkova.
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    Keywords

    European Union; Deflation; Prices; Labor mobility; Inflation; ERM2; Maastricht inflation criterion; new EU member countries; monetary policy; central bank; monetary fund; national bank; International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions;

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