DP792 On the Feasibility of a One- or Multi-Speed European Monetary Union

Author(s): Alberto F Alesina, Vittorio Grilli
Publication Date: July 1993
Keyword(s): European Monetary System, European Monetary Union, Multi-speed, Political Economy
JEL(s): F15, F33, F36
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=792

This paper addresses two questions: (1) Is a twelve-country monetary union in Europe feasible? (2) Can monetary union be achieved in stages, i.e. with an initial group of countries going first, and later admitting the others? After examining several politico-economic arguments concerning problems of feasibility of the union, we conclude with a fair amount of scepticism concerning the multi-speed idea. We show that the final result of the monetary integration process depends on `how many speeds' Europe proceeds with. Our discussion of feasibility sheds some light on the political economy of the recent (Fall of 1992) turmoil in the monetary system of Europe.