1. bookVolume 13 (2019): Issue 1 (May 2019)
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15 Dec 2017
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Was Euro the magic wand for economic growth? An analysis of the real benefits of Euro adoption for the New Member States

Published Online: 29 Nov 2019
Page range: 840 - 853
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Dec 2017
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

At the beginning of the 21st century, the European single currency has been considered a guarantor of prosperity and welfare for the countries that were able to meet the nominal convergence criteria. Starting with Slovenia, a number of five Center and Eastern European Countries joined the Economic and Monetary Union, aiming to achieve the economic prosperity of the Western countries. The concept of economic convergence has been popularized through the economic growth literature during the last century and has become more and more debated with the deepening and expansion of the European Union. The main purpose of this paper has been to evaluate whether there is any hard evidence attesting that Euro adoption accelerated the economic development and created a significant advantage for the New Member States that opted for the single currency, as compared with their peer countries. In this respect, we have studied a panel of New Member States that joined the European Union in 2004 and 2007, comprising both Euro and Non-Euro countries, and we concluded that the single currency do not necessarily guarantee higher growth rates. Moreover, we revealed that the Euro New Member States were more affected by the economic and financial crisis than their Non-Euro peers. We have also shown that there are significant discrepancies between the early adopters of the Euro and the countries that joined the Eurozone after 2004 in terms of convergence and that the differences between the two groups have expanded in the last years. Last and not the least, in order to test our hypotheses, we have compared two sister-countries: Slovakia that joined the Eurozone in 2009 and Czech Republic that has not taken until now the decision to adopt the Euro. In this respect, our results suggest that both countries had good economic performances, and for some periods Czech Republic outperformed Slovakia, mainly in terms of GDP per capita and Foreign Direct Investment. Therefore, we concluded that the single currency has not significantly enhanced the economic performances in the case of the New Member States.

Keywords

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