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European Economic Policies - Alternatives to Orthodox Analysis and Policy Concepts, vol 9

Edited by Eckhard Hein, Arne Heise () and Achim Truger ()

in Conference proceedings of the Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) from IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute

Abstract: Since the final stage of European monetary integration in the mid-1990s, the member countries of the Euro area have been suffering from slow growth and high unemployment. On average, the Euro area’s economic performance has been unsatisfactory, in particular since the growth slow down in 2001. The only undisputed achievement of European monetary integration so far has been a remarkable reduction in the inflation rate. However, this reduction comes at the cost of a still present risk of deflation in some of the member countries of the European Monetary Union (EMU), particularly in Germany. What is most striking is the response of economic policy actors in Europe and mainstream economic policy advisers to the challenges posed by the current economic problems: They call for further structural reforms in the labour market and in the social benefit system. However, this would mean following a strategy which has been pursued for over 25 years in order to increase potential growth and to reduce structural unemployment. Monetary and fiscal policies have been downgraded in order to supply a stable environment – which means stable prices and low inflation expectations. In Germany the situation seems to be even more severe than in the rest of Europe. Mainstream economic policy advisers predominantly even deny short run real effects of macroeconomic policies. The present volume covers papers which are critical towards orthodox analysis and mainstream European economic policy concepts. They explore alternative approaches to achieve higher growth and lower unemployment. The first section assesses the reasons for slow growth and high unemployment in Europe. The second section concentrates on the problems associated with the enlargement of the European Union. Last but not least, the papers in the third section discuss alternative economic policy concepts.

Date: 2006
ISBN: ISBN 3-89518-560-4
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