Western Europe, 1979-2009

A View from the United States

by Robert A. Levine

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback78 pages $15.00 $12.00 20% Web Discount

As the start of the European Monetary Union (EMU) approaches, Western Europe may be heading for troubles that could extend to the United States. The problem lies in the West European political economy. The imposition of highly restrictive fiscal and monetary criteria laid down in Maastricht in 1991 as requirements for membership in the EMU, coupled with economic impacts brought about by East German reconstruction, has resulted in high unemployment and other harsh realities. If Maastricht's rigid macroeconomic constraints are relaxed — if EMU balances its stress on inflation control and fiscal rectitude with equal emphasis on employment and growth — then rising unemployment may be reversed in the short run and conditions can be set for long-run improvement. If not, and if unemployment remains near or above 12 percent, then the worst is yet to come. What will happen to EMU will depend on the futures of the four key West European political economies: Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The author derives four scenarios, ranging from a worst case to "a way out".

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Two Decades: from Maastricht to Emu, from Emu to . . . ?

  • Chapter Three

    The Political Economies of the Big Four

  • Chapter Four

    Conclusions: a Worst Case and a Better One

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.