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The Political Economy of European Integration

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  • Enrico Spolaore

Abstract

This chapter discusses the process of European institutional integration from a political-economy perspective, linking the long-standing political debate on the nature of the European project to the recent economic literature on political integration and disintegration. First, we introduce the fundamental trade-off between economies of scale associated with larger political unions and the costs from sharing public goods and policies among more heterogeneous populations, and examine the implications of the trade-off for European integration. Second, we describe the two main political theories of European integration-intergovernmentalism and functionalism- and argue that both theories capture important aspects of European integration, but that neither view provides a complete and realistic interpretation of the process. Finally, we critically discuss the successes and limitations of the actual process of European institutional integration, from its beginnings after World War II to the current crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Spolaore, 2014. "The Political Economy of European Integration," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0778, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0778
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-1025, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luciano Andreozzi & Roberto Tamborini, 2017. "Why is Europe engaged in an inter- dependence war, and how can it be stopped?," DEM Working Papers 2017/06, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Jeroen Hessel & Niels Gilbert & Jasper de Jong, 2017. "Capitalising on the euro. Options for strengthening the EMU," DNB Occasional Studies 1502, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Abramson, Boaz & Shayo, Moses, 2017. "Grexit vs. Brexit: International Integration under Endogenous Social Identities," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 334, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

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    JEL classification:

    • F50 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - General

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