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“Economics is the long-run driver” in the history of Europe’s monetary union, writes Richard Pomfret in the first of a new Cambridge Elements series on the Economics of European Integration: The Road to Monetary Union (Cambridge University Press, 2021). “Politics often determined the timing of the next step ... but it has not determined the direction of change”.
In this "Element" – intended to be “longer than standard journal articles yet shorter than normal-length book manuscripts”, according to series editor Nauro Campos – Pomfret runs through the 50-year history of the project but with that core theme.
While decisive political moments like German reunification are acknowledged, it is the economic drivers – the development of common policies, the single market and global value chains – that assume a central role in the process.
Richard Pomfret is professor of economics at the University of Adelaide and was, until 2020, the Jean Monnet Chair in the Economics of European Integration. Before moving to Australia in 1992, he was a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, Bologna and Nanjing.
*The author's own book recommendations are Kleptopia: How Dirty Money is Conquering the World by Tom Burgis (William Collins, 2020), and Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck (Granta Books, 2018 - translated by Susan Bernofsky).
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.
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