IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is the Euro Working? The Euro and European Labour Markets


  • Stephen Silvia

    (American University)


Now that four years have passed since the introduction of the euro as a commercial currency, it has become possible to assess many arguments made in the abstract during the 1990s about the implications of monetary union. This contribution does precisely that. In brief, the euro zone still falls short as an optimal currency area in most respects. In particular, an empirical analysis of labor-market developments shows no progress toward flexibility or integration. The findings undercut assertions that the euro will force a liberalization of labor markets, so that they can serve as the principal vector of adjustment in the new currency area. Instead, a “rigidity trap” has developed in the euro area—which consists of relatively tight monetary policy, forced fiscal consolidation, and the virtual elimination of the gap between the real and the nominal wage—making structural adjustment in labor markets more difficult.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Silvia, 2005. "Is the Euro Working? The Euro and European Labour Markets," International Finance 0508007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0508007
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "Do We Really Need a New International Monetary Compact?," NBER Working Papers 7864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    optimum currency area; monetary union; asymmetric shocks; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0508007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.