Europe and the Euro
Edited by Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress HG925.E87 2010 | Dewey Decimal 332.494
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.
The recent recession has brought fiscal policy back to the forefront, with economists and policy makers struggling to reach a consensus on highly political issues like tax rates and government spending. At the heart of the debate are fiscal multipliers, whose size and sensitivity determine the power of such policies to influence economic growth.
Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis focuses on the effects of fiscal stimuli and increased government spending, with contributions that consider the measurement of the multiplier effect and its size. In the face of uncertainty over the sustainability of recent economic policies, further contributions to this volume discuss the merits of alternate means of debt reduction through decreased government spending or increased taxes. A final section examines how the short-term political forces driving fiscal policy might be balanced with aspects of the long-term planning governing monetary policy.
A direct intervention in timely debates, Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis offers invaluable insights about various responses to the recent financial crisis.
The distinguished International Seminar on Macroeconomics (ISoM) has met annually in Europe for thirty years. The papers in ISoM 2007 discuss interest setting and central bank transparency; expectations, monetary policy, and traded goods prices; public investment and the golden rule; the role of institutions, confidence, and trust in financial integration within EU countries; international portfolios with supply, demand, and redistributive shocks; transmission and stabilization in closed and open economies; capital flows and asset prices; and welfare implications of financial globalization without financial development.
The distinguished International Seminar on Macroeconomics has met annually in Europe for over thirty years. The topics covered in this year’s volume fall into four categories: exchange rates, global business cycles, the financial crisis, and unemployment and the Great Recession. The chapters include a study of capital-account policies that are sometimes used to peg the real exchange rate, and an analysis of panel data from OECD countries that characterizes and explains movements in house prices. Other studies explore central issues to the financial crisis, such as its impact on trade flows, the effects of official bailouts, and the nature and evolution of unemployment during the Great Recession.