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The Euro-project at risk


  • Hankel, Wilhelm
  • Hauskrecht, Andreas
  • Stuart, Bryan


In contrast to Robert Mundell's Optimum Currency Area theory and his recommendation of forming a monetary union, the economic fundamentals of Euro area member countries have not harmonized. The opposite holds: the Euro core countries - most of all Germany, but also the Netherlands and Finland - increased productivity growth while limiting nominal wage growth. However, Mediterranean countries - particularly Greece, but also Spain, Portugal, and Italy - have dramatically lost international competitiveness. Although the overall balance of payments for the Euro area at large is almost balanced, internal disequilibria are skyrocketing and default risk premiums and tensions within the Euro area are rising, thus jeopardizing the stability of the monetary union. The findings confirm that a common currency without fiscal union is inherently unstable. The international financial and economic crisis has merely triggered events which highlight this instability. The paper discusses three possible scenarios for the future of the Euro: a laissez faire approach, a bailout, and finally an exit strategy for the Mediterranean countries, or an organized exit by a group of core countries led by Germany, forming their own smaller monetary union.

Suggested Citation

  • Hankel, Wilhelm & Hauskrecht, Andreas & Stuart, Bryan, 2010. "The Euro-project at risk," ZEI Working Papers B 04-2010, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b042010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barry Eichengreen and Jurgen von Hagen., 1995. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Union: Federalism, Fiscal Restrictions and the No-Bailout Rule," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-056, University of California at Berkeley.
    2. Jeffrey Frankel & Andrew Rose, 2002. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 437-466.
    3. Poterba, James M, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 395-400, May.
    4. Strauch, Rolf R. & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2001. "Formal fiscal restraints and budget processes as solutions to a deficit and spending bias in public finances: US experience and possible lessons for EMU," ZEI Working Papers B 14-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    5. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1996. "European versus American Perspectives on Balanced-Budget Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 408-413, May.
    6. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
    7. Michele Fratianni & Andreas Hauskrecht, 1998. "From the Gold Standard to a Bipolar Monetary System," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 609-636, January.
    8. Schmitz, Birgit & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2009. "Current Account Imbalances and Financial Integration in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 7262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mnb:finrev:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:86-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michele Fratianni, 2012. "The Future International Monetary System: Dominant Currencies or Supranational Money? An Introduction," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-12, February.
    3. Tomas Adam & Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Kamil Galuscak & Tomas Holub & Eva Hromadkova & Narcisa Liliana Kadlcakova & Lubos Komarek & Zlatuse Komarkova & Petr Kral & Ivana Kubicova & Ji, 2012. "Analyses of the Czech Republic's Current Economic Alignment with the Euro Area 2012," Occasional Publications - Edited Volumes, Czech National Bank, Research Department, number as12 edited by Romana Zamazalova & Jakub Mateju, June.

    More about this item


    Optimum currency areas; monetary union; risk spreads; central banking; exchange rates; fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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