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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg September 3, 2019

Putting European Monetary Integration into a Historical Perspective: Two Decades of the European Monetary System versus Two Decades of the European Monetary Union

  • Ralf Fendel EMAIL logo and Michael Frenkel EMAIL logo


This comparative study looks at broad economic developments during the 20 years of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and 20 years of the European Monetary System (EMS). We analyze the economic performance by looking at a set of macroeconomic variables. The analysis of macroeconomic performance includes two perspectives: one is internal, i. e. how did the countries perform relative to each other; the other is external, i. e. how did the group of member countries perform vis-à-vis other countries. Overall, the analysis of the two periods suggest that the EMU does not display a macroeconomic development inferior to the EMS period. On the contrary, some crucial macroeconomic indicators point to a greater stability during the EMU period compared to the EMS period.

JEL Classification: F33; F36; F45


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Article note

This article is part of the special issue “20 Years of European Monetary Union” published in the Journal of Economics and Statistics. Access to further articles of this special issue can be obtained at

Received: 2018-12-25
Revised: 2019-05-25
Accepted: 2019-07-29
Published Online: 2019-09-03
Published in Print: 2019-09-25

© 2019 Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag GmbH, Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin/Boston

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