Europe and the Euro

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It is rare for countries to give up their currencies and thus their ability to influence such critical aspects of their economies as interest and exchange rates. Yet ten years ago a number of European countries did exactly that when they adopted the euro. Despite some dissent, there were a number of arguments in favor of this policy change: it would facilitate exchange of goods, money, and people by decreasing costs; it would increase trade; and it would enhance efficiency and competitiveness at the international level.
A decade is an ideal time frame over which to evaluate the success of the euro and whether it has lived up to expectations. To that aim, Europe and the Euro looks at a number of important issues, including the effects of the euro on reform of goods and labor markets; its influence on business cycles and trade among members; and whether the single currency has induced convergence or divergence in the economic performance of member countries. While adoption of the euro may not have met the expectations of its most optimistic proponents, the benefits have been many, and there is reason to believe that the euro is robust enough to survive recent economic shocks. This volume is an essential reference on the first ten years of the euro and the workings of a monetary union.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alberto Alesina is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University and the program director for Political Economy at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Francesco Giavazzi is professor of economics at Bocconi University in Milan, president of the Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi

1. The Breakup of the Euro Area 11

Barry Eichengreen

Comment: Martin Feldstein

2. The Euro and Structural Reforms 57

Alberto Alesina, Silvia Ardagna, and Vincenzo Galasso

Comment: Otmar Issing

3. The Euro and Firm Restructur

Matteo Bugamelli, Fabiano Schivardi, and Roberta Zizza

Comment: Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano

4. Business Cycles in the Euro Area

Domenico Giannone, Michele Lenza, and Lucrezia Reichlin

Comment: Tommaso Monacelli

5. The Estimated Trade Effects of the Euro:

Why Are They Below Those from Historical

Monetary Unions among Smaller Countries?

Jeffrey Frankel

Comment: Silvana Tenreyro

6. A New Metric for Banking Integration in Europe

Reint Gropp and Anil K Kashyap

Comment: Loretta J. Mester

7. Why the European Securities Market Is Not Fully Integrated

Alberto Giovannini

Comment: Richard Portes

8. The Euro and Fiscal Policy

Antonio Fatás and Ilian Mihov

Comment: Roberto Perotti

9. How Central Bankers See It: The First Decade of European Central Bank Policy and Beyond

Stephen G. Cecchetti and Kermit L. Schoenholtz

Comment: Pervenche Berès

10. Reevaluating Swedish Membership in the European Monetary Union: Evidence from an Estimated Model

Ulf Söderström

11. Euro Membership as a U.K. Monetary Policy Option: Results from a Structural Model

Riccardo DiCecio and Edward Nelson

Comment on Chapters 10 and 11: Carlo A. Favero

Contributors   Author Index  Subject Index

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