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The Euro Imbalances and Financial Deregulation: A Post-Keynesian Interpretation of the European Debt Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Esteban Perez-Caldentey
  • Matias Vernengo

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that the European debt crisis, which has thus far led to severe adjustment programs crafted by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in both Greece and Ireland, was caused by fiscal profligacy on the part of peripheral, or noncore, countries in combination with a welfare state model, and that the role of the common currency-the euro-was at best minimal. This paper aims to show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the crisis in Europe is the result of an imbalance between core and noncore countries that is inherent in the euro economic model. Underpinned by a process of monetary unification and financial deregulation, core eurozone countries pursued export-led growth policies-or, more specifically, "beggar thy neighbor" policies-at the expense of mounting disequilibria and debt accumulation in the periphery. This imbalance became unsustainable, and this unsustainability was a causal factor in the global financial crisis of 2007-08. The paper also maintains that the eurozone could avoid cumulative imbalances by adopting John Maynard Keynes's notion of the generalized banking principle (a fundamental principle of his clearing union proposal) as a central element of its monetary integration arrangement.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteban Perez-Caldentey & Matias Vernengo, 2012. "The Euro Imbalances and Financial Deregulation: A Post-Keynesian Interpretation of the European Debt Crisis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_702, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_702
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenen,Peter B., 1995. "Economic and Monetary Union in Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521558839, April.
    2. Sergio Cesaratto & Antonella Stirati, 2010. "Germany and the European and Global Crises," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 56-86.
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    Cited by:

    1. Naphon Phumma, 2014. "Neoliberalism and the global imbalances: the neo-Gramscian approach," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2014_04, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    2. Hubert Gabrisch, 2015. "Net Capital Flows To And The Real Exchange Rate Of Western Balkan Countries," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 60(205), pages 31-52, April – J.
    3. Alberto Botta, 2014. "Structural Asymmetries at the Roots of the Eurozone Crisis: What’s New for Industrial Policy in the EU?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_794, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Gabrisch, Hubert & Staehr, Karsten, 2014. "The euro plus pact: cost competitiveness and external capital flows in the EU countries," Working Paper Series 1650, European Central Bank.
    5. Alberto Botta, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need for a European Federal Union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," DEM Working Papers Series 011, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    6. repec:psl:pslqrr:2017:23 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Marcello Spanò, 2012. "A survey of the theoretical models of corporate hedging," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf1204, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    8. Beker, Victor, 2014. "On the European debt crisis," MPRA Paper 59869, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Esteban Pérez Caldentey & Matías Vernengo, 2015. "Integration, Spurious Convergence, and Financial Fragility: A Post-Keynesian Interpretation of the Spanish Crisis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_847, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Hubert Gabrisch & Karsten Staehr, 2015. "The Euro Plus Pact: Competitiveness and External Capital Flows in the EU Countries," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 558-576, May.
    11. repec:wfo:wstudy:47496 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Alberto Botta, 2014. "Conflicting claims in the eurozone? Austerity's myopia and the need for a European Federal Union in a post-Keynesian eurozone center–periphery model," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 45-70, January.
    13. Alberto Botta, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in the Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the need of a European federal union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone CenterPeriphery Model," Economics and Quantitative Methods qf1203, Department of Economics, University of Insubria.
    14. Roberto Censolo & Caterina Colombo, 2015. "The Early Consequences of the Crisis on Fiscal Convergence in the EU," Working Papers 2015024, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    15. Giuseppe Mastromatteo & Sergio Rossi, 2015. "The economics of deflation in the euro area: a critique of fiscal austerity," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 336-350, July.
    16. Alberto Botta, 2014. "Structural asymmetries at the roots of the eurozone crisis: what's new for industrial policy in the EU?," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(269), pages 169-216.
    17. Mehmet Okan Ta?ar & Sava? Çevik, 2014. "Financial Liberalization in the Developing Countries and Its Effect on Banking Systems and Banking Crises," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0702096, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    18. Pilar Beneito & Carlos Chafer, 2017. "Current Account Imbalances and Cost Competitiveness: The Role of the Euro," Working Papers 1703, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    19. Botta, Alberto, 2012. "Conflicting Claims in Eurozone? Austerity’s Myopic Logic and the Need of a European federal union in a post-Keynesian Eurozone Center-Periphery Model," MPRA Paper 41700, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European Union; Current Account Adjustment; Financial Aspects of Economic Integration;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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