2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 91-94

The optimum currency area (OCA) theory evaluates the currency area as optimum at a time when the participating countries are not at risk of macroeconomic instability due to the existence of a common currency. The OCA index is a tool used to comprehensively assess the costs and benefits of a candidate for joining a monetary union. It is constructed as a bilateral index assessing the appropriateness of introducing the single currency in two countries. The article presents the OCA index quantified for the Czech Republic in relation to Germany, which is considered to be the core of the European Monetary Union. Since the OCA index needs to be interpreted in a temporal or spatial comparison, the calculation of the OCA index was also performed for other countries of the Visegrad Group (V4) and furthermore for Austria and Portugal, using data from the period of 2007–2019. The results of the OCA index show a high degree of variability in the Czech Republic in the observed period. While in the first half of the period under review, the Czech Republic achieved the best results within the assessed economies and the Czech Republic's level of preparedness for the common currency with Germany was higher than in the case of Austria, it fell sharply after 2012. The reason can be seen, among other things, in the higher growth rate of the Czech economy than in the euro area. Although the OCA index is an indicator assessing the preparedness of an economy to join a monetary union, it cannot be the only indicator. Other important criteria include, for example, labour mobility, price and wage flexibility, fiscal integration and more. Although the Czech Republic is approaching the euro area average in all key indicators, the gap from it remains significant for most indicators and thus continues to be a factor against the adoption of the euro in the coming years.

2004 ◽  
Vol 24 (2) ◽  
pp. 147-168 ◽  

Now that time has passed since the introduction of the euro as a commercial currency, it is possible to assess many arguments made in the abstract during the 1990s about European monetary union. This article shows that the euro zone still falls short as an optimal currency area in most respects. In particular, it undertakes an empirical analysis of the labour market and finds no progress toward flexibility or integration. These results challenge assertions of ‘endogenous currency area’ proponents that the euro area would become optimal ‘after the fact’, and that labour markets would serve as the principal avenue of adjustment. Instead, a ‘rigidity trap’ has developed in the euro area, consisting of relatively tight monetary policy, forced fiscal consolidation, and a risk of deflation in some economies. These conditions have compounded the difficulties of structural adjustment in European labour markets.

2012 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
pp. 1-7 ◽  
LB ◽  

In between the writing of this editorial and the publication of this issue of EuConst, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, in everyday parlance the ‘Fiscal Compact’, will have been signed by the representatives of the governments of the contracting parties — the member states of the European Union minus the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. The Fiscal Compact is intended to foster budgetary discipline, to strengthen the coordination of economic policies and to improve the governance of the euro area.

2009 ◽  
Vol 56 (1) ◽  
pp. 21-38 ◽  
Arfa Ben

This paper deals with the synchronization of business cycles and economic shocks between the euro area and acceding countries. We therefore extract the business cycle component of output by using Hodrick-Prescott filter. Supply and demand shocks are recovered from estimated structural VAR models of output growth and inflation using long run restriction (Blanchard and Quah). We then check the (A) symmetry of these shocks by calculating the correlation between euro area shocks and those of the different acceding countries. We find that several acceding countries have a quite high correlation of demand shocks with the euro area however supply shocks are asymmetric; the correlation between euro area and central and east European countries (CEECs) is negative. We therefore conclude that joining the European Monetary Union is not yet possible: central and east European countries have to make structural changes to join the European Monetary Union.

Jacques Mazier ◽  
Sebastian Valdecantos

The crisis of the euro area has questioned the fairness, sustainability and viability of the current setting of the European Monetary Union (EMU). In this article we use a four-country stock–flow consistent (SFC) model in the tradition of Godley/Lavoie (2007a) to examine to what extent an adaptation to Europe of Keynes's plan of a clearing union with bancor balances could help reduce the imbalances that, at least in part, drove the eurozone into crisis. Our simulation experiments suggest that the implementation of Keynes's ideas may conduct European countries to a stronger and more sustainable growth cycle.

Andreea Bucur

Although the increasing heterogeneity as an effect of European Union enlargement, referring especially to the last two waves, is perceived as a single internal market and also euro single currency risk, European Monetary Union represents an important step towards deepening economic integration. Controversy on the Optimum Currency Area issue has created difficulties in empirical research effort to find appropriate responses to the EMU dilemma: is Euro zone an „optimum” or rather “viable” currency area?

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