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The Causes of Euro Instability

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  • Philip Arestis
  • Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal
  • Andrew Brown
  • Malcolm Sawyer

Abstract

This paper examines the causes of the general decline in the value of the euro by assessing the various explanations proffered in existing literature, then offering a more satisfactory explanation. The argument prevalent in the literature--that the decline in value of the euro is due to "U.S. strength" rather than to any inherent difficulties with its imposition--is viewed as somewhat undeveloped. We suggest that U.S. strength is an important but only partial factor in euro decline; the other side of U.S. strength is eurozone weakness. We review the (poor) performance of the ECB and assess the level of macroeconomic convergence of eurozone countries. We conclude that a combination of eurozone weakness, endogenous to the inception of the euro, and U.S. strength is the most plausible explanation for the euro's decline in value. We find that although the future value of the euro is uncertain, the prospects for the eurozone will remain bleak as long as the current institutions underpinning the euro, with their inherent tendencies to promote deflation, are in place.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Arestis & Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Andrew Brown & Malcolm Sawyer, 2001. "The Causes of Euro Instability," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_324, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 2000. "The European Central Bank and the Euro: The First Year," Scholarly Articles 3043424, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Angeloni, Ignazio & Dedola, Luca, 1999. "From the ERM to the euro: new evidence on economic and policy convergence among EU countries," Working Paper Series 0004, European Central Bank.
    3. Kaldor, Nicholas, 1972. "The Irrelevance of Equilibrium Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(328), pages 1237-1255, December.
    4. Jonathan Coppel & Martine Durand & Ignazio Visco, 2000. "EMU, The Euro and The European Policy Mix," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 232, OECD Publishing.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry, 2000. "The Euro One Year On," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 355-368, May.
    6. Feldstein, Martin, 2000. "The European Central Bank and the Euro: The First Year," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 345-354, May.
    7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1999. "Stability, Asymmetry, and Discontinuity: The Launch of European Monetary Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 295-372.
    8. Chinn, Menzie David, 2000. "The empirical determinants of the Euro: Short and long run perspectives," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,43, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    9. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Izurieta, 2001. "Can Countries under A Common Currency Conduct Their Own Fiscal Policies?," Macroeconomics 0108008, EconWPA.
    2. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2002. "European Monetary Union: Nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth? An investigation into the effects of changing macroeconomic policy institutions associated with monetary union," WSI Working Papers 107, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    3. Philip Arestis & Andrew Brown & Kostas Mouratidis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "The Euro: Reflections on the first three years," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 1-17.
    4. Hein, Eckhard & Truger, Achim, 2005. "European Monetary Union: nominal convergence, real divergence and slow growth?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 7-33, March.
    5. Eckhard Hein, 2002. "Monetary policy and wage bargaining in the EMU: restrictive ECB policies, high unemployment, nominal wage restraint and inflation above the target," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 55(222), pages 299-337.
    6. Gadea, Maria-Dolores & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 2004. "The European Union currencies and the US dollar: from post-Bretton-Woods to the Euro," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 1109-1136.

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