European Monetary Unification: Theory, Practice, and Analysis

In This Review

European Monetary Unification: Theory, Practice, and Analysis

By Barry Eichengreen
MIT Press, 1997
349 pp. $45.00
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A seminal event in 1999 will be the creation of the European Monetary Union with a common currency, the euro. Driven mainly by a political dynamic that is the legacy of two world wars, the EMU will nonetheless have profound economic implications. Eichengreen, a professor at Berkeley, has been one of the small band of American economists who have been attentive students of European monetary integration. This book gathers some of his writing on the EMU over the period 1990-96. He frequently offers valuable comparisons with the United States, research that has helped illuminate how the large U.S. economy copes with diverse shocks to and within its own monetary union. Most of the papers here were written for economists, but the author is clear and cogent in his mode of argument and in arraying empirical evidence. Eichengreen is sympathetic to the objective of a single European currency, but he suggests that Europeans should fasten their seat belts as they move forward.