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From the Bancor to the Euro. And Further on to the Intor?

  • Heinz Handler


The current paper analyses the similarities between the Bretton Woods system (BWS) and the Eurozone and looks into the future of the world monetary system. The gold standard, the Keynes Plan and the White Plan are identified as the most important sources of ideas that formed the BWS. Although Keynes was not particularly successful in Bretton Woods, his plan played a decisive role later on in the critique of the BWS as well as in the design of the European Monetary System. Either system was based on the concept of fixed exchange rates which were seen as more apt for international economic relations than flexible rates. In the BWS, fixed rates were seen to be achieved by coordinating economic policies of member states and by sporadic realignments of exchange rates. In the Eurozone, only policy coordination is available to fulfil this function. The favourable experience made so far with the euro may be utilised for monetary integration in other parts of the world. The Eurozone is also considered good practice for any reform of the international monetary system. Given the diverging political and economic goals of the major currency blocks, it may be questioned, however, whether the success of the euro also furthers the idea of developing a single world currency.

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 317.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 24 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2008:i:317
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  1. Thorarinn G. Petursson, 2005. "Inflation Targeting and its Effects on Macroeconomic Performance," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
  2. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 3-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rose, Andrew K., 2007. "A stable international monetary system emerges: Inflation targeting is Bretton Woods, reversed," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 663-681, September.
  4. James M. Boughton, 2002. "Why White, Not Keynes? Inventing the Post-War International Monetary System," IMF Working Papers 02/52, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Mundell, Robert, 2012. "The case for a world currency," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 568-578.
  6. Edwin M. Truman, 2006. "Strategy for IMF Reform, A," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa77.
  7. Horst Siebert, 2006. "International Exchange Rate Systems - Where do we Stand?," Kiel Working Papers 1288, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  8. John Williamson, 2000. "The Role of the IMF: A Guide to the Reports," Policy Briefs PB00-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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  1. Bancor in Wikipedia Spanish ne '')

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