IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Long Term Perspective on the Euro

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • Harold James

This study grounds the establishment of EMU and the euro in the context of the history of international monetary cooperation and of monetary unions, above all in the U.S., Germany and Italy. The purpose of national monetary unions was to reduce transactions costs of multiple currencies and thereby facilitate commerce; to reduce exchange rate volatility; and to prevent wasteful competition for seigniorage. By contrast, supranational unions, such as the Latin Monetary Union or the Scandinavian Currency Union were conducted in the broader setting of an international monetary order, the gold standard. There are closer parallels between EMU and national monetary unions. Historical monetary unions also were associated with fiscal unions (fiscal federalism). Both fiscal and monetary unions were an important part of the process of political unification. In the past, central banks, and the currencies they managed, have been discredited or put under severe strain as a result of: severe or endemic fiscal problems creating pressures for the monetization of public debt; low economic growth may produce demands for central banks to pursue more expansionary policies; regional strains producing a demand for different monetary policies to adjust to particular regional pressures; severe crises of the financial system; and tensions between the international and the domestic role of a leading currency. In particular, there is the possibility for the EMU that low rates of growth will produce direct challenges to the management of the currency, and a demand for a more politically controlled and for a more expansive monetary policy. Such demands might arise in some parts or regions or countries of the euro area, but not in others and would lead to a politically highly difficult discussion of monetary governance.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13815.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13815
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 1999. "Interregional and international risk-sharing and lessons for EMU," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 149-188, December.
  2. Paolera, Gerardo Della & Taylor, Alan M., 1999. "Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of Macroeconomic Regime," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 567-599, September.
  3. Orietta DESSY, 2004. "Nominal wage flexibility and institutions: preliminary micro-evidence from the Europanel," Departmental Working Papers 2004-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Einaudi, Luca, 2001. "Money and Politics: European Monetary Unification and the International Gold Standard (1865-1873)," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199243662, December.
  5. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Redish,Angela, 2006. "Bimetallism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521028936, September.
  7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "On the desirability of fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Staff Report 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Prati, A. & Schinasi, G.J., 1999. "Financial Stability in European Economic and Monetary Union," Princeton Studies in International Economics 86, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  9. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2002. "One Money, But Many Fiscal Policies in Europe : What are the Consequences?," Discussion Paper 2002-32, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Giovanni Peri, 1998. "Regional non-adjustment and fiscal policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 205-259, 04.
  11. von Hagen, Jurgen & Neumann, Manfred J M, 1994. "Real Exchange Rates within and between Currency Areas: How Far Away Is EMU?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 236-44, May.
  12. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
  13. Mundell, Robert, 2000. "Currency Areas, Volatility and Intervention," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 281-299, May.
  14. Fratianni,Michele & Spinelli,Franco, 1997. "A Monetary History of Italy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521443159, September.
  15. Dixit, Avinash & Lambertini, Luisa, 2001. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and commitment versus discretion in a monetary union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 977-987, May.
  16. Dirk Schoenmaker & Charles Goodhart, 2006. "Burden Sharing in a Banking Crisis in Europe," FMG Special Papers sp164, Financial Markets Group.
  17. De Grauwe, Paul & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 1991. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area? Evidence from Regional Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Pierfederico Asdrubali & Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 1996. "Channels of Interstate Risk Sharing: United States 1963–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1081-1110.
  19. 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)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13815. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.