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Back to National Currencies? Monetary Integration in an Asymmetrical Currency Area

Economic Imbalances and Institutional Changes to the Euro and the European Union

ISBN: 978-1-78714-510-8, eISBN: 978-1-78714-509-2

ISSN: 1569-3767

Publication date: 23 October 2017

Abstract

This chapter argues that monetary integration must precede, rather than follow, monetary unification, in order to avoid the occurrence of structural and systemic crises. It briefly overviews the relevant literature on european monetary union (EMU) with regard to the criteria to set up an optimum currency area (OCA) according to the mainstream view. It then points out that adopting the euro as single currency for a number of heterogeneous countries led inevitably to a number of major negative effects, so much so because of the counterproductive financial constraints induced by the Euro-area fiscal and monetary policies framework. Particularly, the lack of fiscal transfers between these countries and the dogmatic attitude of the European Central Bank (ECB) as regards its policy strategy and goal increase, rather than reducing, the unemployment rate, and the degree of financial instability across the euro area. In fact, a way out of the euro area exists without renouncing to the (long-run) benefits of monetary integration. It implies that countries whose population suffers most of “fiscal consolidation” introduce their national currencies again, limiting the use of the euro to their central banks only, in order for them to settle all international trade and financial-market transactions carried out by residents in these countries. This monetary–structural reform will be instrumental in increasing financial stability and employment levels across Europe, thereby inducing positive effects also for trade and public finance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to Rorita Canale, Rajmund Mirdala, and two anonymous referees for their remarks, as well as to Amos Pesenti for his research assistance. The usual disclaimer applies.

Citation

Rossi, S. (2017), "Back to National Currencies? Monetary Integration in an Asymmetrical Currency Area ", Economic Imbalances and Institutional Changes to the Euro and the European Union (International Finance Review, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 91-111. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1569-376720170000018006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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