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EMU in the early years: differences and credibility

  • André Sapir

The main issue in the early years of EMU is one of credibility. On one hand, high exposure to asymmetric shocks and low adaptability (be it in terms of stabilization or adjustment) to both symmetric and asymmetric shocks make the early years of EMU potentially problematic. On the other hand, significant economic differences between EMU countries raise questions regarding the objective of price stability. Credibility-enhancing policy choices may, in the short run, conflict with optimal smoothing of shocks, but are essential to ‘ferry’ EMU towards its ‘steady state’. While a number of uncertainties still hang over the new regime, the Paper finds that the experience of EMU so far is heartening. Although economic divergences skewed on the high side made internal monetary misalignments politically less troublesome, the stability-oriented EMU framework fostered broadly appropriate policy behaviour in terms of both efforts to increase adaptability to shocks and of actual response to observed shocks.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/8134.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/8134
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  1. Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 1998. "International risk sharing and European monetary unification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 211-238, August.
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  8. Melitz, Jacques, 1997. "Some Cross-Country Evidence about Debt, Deficits and the Behaviour of Monetary and Fiscal Authorities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1999. "Stability, Asymmetry, and Discontinuity: The Launch of European Monetary Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 295-372.
  14. Bentolila, Samuel & Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Will EMU Increase Eurosclerosis?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Maclennan, Duncan & Muellbauer, John & Stephens, Mark, 1998. "Asymmetries in Housing and Financial Market Institutions and EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 54-80, Autumn.
  16. Fatás, Antonio, 1997. "EMU: Countries or Regions? Lessons from the EMS Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  18. Boeri, Tito & Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2000. "Regulation And Labour Market Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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