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Social Models, Growth and the International Monetary System: Implications for Europe and the United States


  • Roberto Scazzieri
  • Lilia Costabile


This paper explores the relationship between economic growth and the welfare state. We argue that: (i) the institutional constraints set by the international monetary system may be at least as effective determinants of growth differentials between countries as the different dimensions of their welfare states. We show how this international system may impose an asymmetric discipline/flexibility mix on the macreoconomic policies of different countries, thereby influencing their growth performance.; (ii) the European currency reshapes some of the pre-existing constraints and also open up new opportunities; (iii) in the new international setting, Europe is facing a choice between alternative models. In one alternative, the “welfare system” needs to be reduced to a minimum; in the second, its role should be enhanced and made more active, through an appropriate mix of welfare policies oriented towards the promotion of social well-being and policies oriented towards the promotion of productive capacities.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Scazzieri & Lilia Costabile, 2006. "Social Models, Growth and the International Monetary System: Implications for Europe and the United States," Working Papers wp117, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp117

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
    2. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    3. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, August.
    4. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "The Transfer Problem Revisited: Net Foreign Assets and Real Exchange Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 841-857, November.
    5. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
    6. Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
    7. Uzawa,Hirofumi, 2008. "Economic Analysis of Social Common Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521066495, March.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. A. B. Atkinson, 1999. "The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011719, July.
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    More about this item


    international monetary system; macroeconomic policies; welfare state; welfare policies;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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