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Is better economic integration in the EU possible?

Leon Podkaminer

Keywords: European integration; Maastricht Treaty; euro; internal devaluation; income inequality; race to the bottom; productivity stagnation

In this paper it is argued that European integration has not fulfilled its chief economic promises. Output growth has been increasingly weak and unstable. Productivity growth has been following a decreasing trend. This sorry state of affairs is likely to continue. However, this outcome is not unavoidable. Moreover, the negative consequences implicit in the current architecture of the common currency could be neutralised. For this to happen, the basic paradigms of the economic policies to be followed in the European Union would have to be radically changed. First, the unconditional fiscal consolidation provisions still in force would have to be repelled. Second, ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ (or mercantilist) wage policies would have to be ‘outlawed’.

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