The economic and monetary union vs. shifts in competitiveness of member states
The paper deals with changes in the competitiveness of 12 countries forming the euro area in 1999-2000. These changes are analyzed using various macroeconomic indicators (real exchange rate, trade ratios, labor market and economic output performance). Due to the different levels of development of the countries forming the zone, changes in competitiveness do not extend uniformly. The paper ends with conclusions. The aim of this paper is to assess changes in the relative competitiveness of 12 countries forming the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) between 1999-2009. Greece was the only EU country which had not yet been accepted in the Union in 1999 and later joined the Eurozone in 2001. Despite the time difference, it was assumed that by including this economy in the analyzed EMU 12 group it would allow for better comprehension of the influence of monetary solutions and general economic policy within this integration grouping on the relative competitiveness of its particular members. Section 1 is devoted to a brief presentation of assumptions and expectations regarding the EMU. Section 2 examines real effective exchange rates (REERs). Along with the standard literature, it is assumed that REERs are important summary measures of shifts in competitiveness. Section 3 is devoted to trade developments; they are linked to the REERs. We present and analyze gross measures such as exports to the gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, external exports, export/import ratio, the share of EMU country exports in world exports and the role of high-tech trade. Section 4 deals with the shifts in labor force performance and section 5 is devoted to the most comprehensive measures which are GDP and gross national income (GNI) developments. The paper closes with conclusions.
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