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What Is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists

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  • Enrico Spolaore

    (Tufts University, NBER, CESIfo and CAGE)

Abstract

Europe’s monetary union is part of a broader process of integration that started in the aftermath of World War II. In this “political guide for economists” we look at the creation of the euro within the bigger picture of European integration. How and why were European institutions established? What are the goals and determinants of European Integration? What is European integration really about? We address these questions from a political-economy perspective, building on ideas and results from the economic literature on the formation of states and political unions. Specifically, we look at the motivations, assumptions, and limitations of the European strategy, initiated by Jean Monnet and his collaborators, of partially integrating policy functions in a few areas, with the expectation that more integration will follow in other areas, in a sort of chain reaction towards an “ever-closer union.” The euro with its current problems is a child of that strategy and its limits.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Spolaore, 2013. "What Is European Integration Really About? A Political Guide for Economists," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2013-04-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cccrwp:2013-04-ccr
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio Cesaratto, 2017. "Alternative interpretations of a stateless currency crisis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 977-998.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli, 2016. "Cultural Differences and Institutional Integration," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2015 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Aleberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini & Francesco Trebbi, 2017. "Is Europe an Optimal Political Area?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 169-234.
    4. Fabrizio Balassone & Sandro Momigliano & Marzia Romanelli & Pietro Tommasino, 2014. "Just round the corner? Pros, cons, and implementation issues of a fiscal union for the euro area," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 245, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    5. Mehlika Özlem Ultan, 2016. "The Effect Of Cultural Factors On The European Integration," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 3605735, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    6. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2016. "Monnet’s error?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 31(86), pages 247-297.
    7. Virkola, Tuomo, 2014. "Fiscal Federalism in Four Federal Countries," ETLA Reports 38, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. Katerina Arnostova & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Vojtech Belling & Sona Benecka & Jan Bruha & Martin Gurtler & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Petr Kr, 2016. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2016," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, number as16 edited by Katerina Arnostova & Lucie Matejkova, June.
    9. Nicholas Crafts, 2014. "What Does the 1930s' Experience Tell Us about the Future of the Eurozone?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 713-727, July.
    10. van Riet, Ad, 2016. "Safeguarding the euro as a currency beyond the state," Occasional Paper Series 173, European Central Bank.
    11. Tomas Adam & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Vojtech Belling & Sona Benecka & Jan Bruha & Kamil Galuscak & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Kamila Kulhava , 2015. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2015," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, number as15 edited by Kamila Kulhava & Lucie Matejkova, June.
    12. Athanasios Orphanides, 2014. "The Euro Area Crisis: Politics over Economics," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 42(3), pages 243-263, September.
    13. Jaime DE MELO & Marcelo OLARREAGA, 2017. "Trade Related Institutions and Development," Working Papers P199, FERDI.
    14. Peter Spahn, 2016. "Central Bank Design in a Non-optimal Currency Union A Lender of Last Resort for Government Debt?," ROME Working Papers 201610, ROME Network.
    15. Luque, Jaime & Morelli, Massimo & Tavares, José, 2014. "A volatility-based theory of fiscal union desirability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-11.
    16. Nicola Acocella, "undated". "The theoretical roots of EMU institutions and policies during the crisis," Working Papers 126/14, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
    17. Luigi Guiso & Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli, 2013. "A Cultural Clash View of the EU Crisis," EIEF Working Papers Series 1321, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2013.
    18. Barbara Dluhosch & Daniel Horgos & Klaus W. Zimmermann, 2016. "EU enlargement and satisfaction with democracy: a peculiar case of immiserizing growth," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 273-298, September.
    19. 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.
    20. Francesco Farina & Roberto Tamborini, 2015. "Europe's Great Divide. A geo-economic-political map," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 101, European Institute, LSE.
    21. László Andor, 2016. "Towards shared unemployment insurance in the euro area," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-15, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements

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