The US dollar, the euro, and the yen: An evaluation of their present and future status as international currencies
The process of European integration and especially the introduction of the euro as the single currency for up to now 12 member countries of the EU in 1999 may alter the existing clear currency hierarchy. The euro area is comparable in size to the US with respect to GDP and even exceeds the US regarding the share in world trade. Thus questions arise of whether the international monetary system turns out to be bipolar in the long run or whether the yen can also play its part. It turns out that real activity, size and sophistication of financial markets, monetary and financial stability and inertia are the most prominent characteristics making a currency to be preferred on a world-wide level. We thus conclude that the integration and the development of European financial markets are of special importance for a stronger international role of the dollar, but that the historical experience of only gradually changing supremacy of international currencies still applies.
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