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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Institute of European Studies (IES) is home to the leading concentration of researchers and teachers on Europe in the Western United States. It is among the top three such organizations in the entire country, along with Harvard and Columbia. While IES was only recently created in the latter part of the 1999 academic year, it has had strong institutional roots: the Institute represents the unification of staff, resources, and programs of UC Berkeley's Center for German and European Studies (CGES) which serves all nine UC campuses, and UC Berkeley's Center for Western European Studies (CWES) which housed the French, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish Studies Programs.

Institute of European Studies
207 Moses Hall #2316
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-5157

Cover page of Transforming Competitiveness in European Transition Economies: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment

Transforming Competitiveness in European Transition Economies: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment


Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become one of the main drivers of globalization and integration of the European transition economies into the world economy, especially the European Union. Its growth enhancing capacity has played a significant role in transforming their competitiveness, both locally and on international markets, and its propensity to stimulate institution buliding is changing both economic and political landscapes in the region. The economic conditionality of FDI and the EU access-driven reforms are working hand in hand in helping the goals of transition and the convergence process. The achievement of both goals is seen as the best guarantor of peace and security in the region.

Cover page of Making Money: Political Development, the Greenback, and the Euro

Making Money: Political Development, the Greenback, and the Euro


The creation of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in Europe challenges much of what we have come to take for granted about states and the components of sovereignty. What does the willingness of twelve European Union (EU) members to abandon their own currencies mean for the nation-states of Europe? Does the Euro automatically imply further political development at the EU level? To address these questions, this paper parses out the role that national currencies play in statebuilding with reference to the nineteenth century American experience. Just as US federal authorities engaged in a political project to wrest control over money from subnational authorities to the center and unify the currency, so have the dynamics of currency unification in the EU involved important conflicts over the location of the legitimate exercise of control and rule. In particular, I highlight the role of war and market integration in prompting currency consolidation, and the importance of linkages between money and fiscal capacity for statebuilding, and apply the analytical lessons learned from the US experience to the case of the Euro.

Cover page of The Accession Economies’ Rocky Road to the Euro

The Accession Economies’ Rocky Road to the Euro


Now that the decision has been taken to admit to the European Union eight of what were once called the transition economies, attention has naturally turned to whether these countries should also join Europe’s monetary union. But where is a consensus that joining the EU, while posing certain difficulties, will be a source of net benefits, there is no such consensus about the adoption of the euro. In part this uncertainty reflects the unusual difficulty that monetary economists have in translating theory into policy. We specialists, in other words, cannot even agree amongst ourselves.

In this lecture I suggest that this uncertainty is unwarranted. Adopting the euro is clearly superior to the other monetary options available to the new EU members. These countries are right to be committed to joining Euroland as soon as possible. And the incumbent members of the euro area should be happy to have them. To be sure, enlarging the monetary union will pose difficulties for both the incumbents and the new members. But these are minor compared to the difficulties that will arise under other scenarios. From this point of view, it is regrettable that the incumbents appear to be placing unnecessary obstacles in the path of the aspirants.

Cover page of Institutions for Fiscal Stability

Institutions for Fiscal Stability


This paper reviews the controversy over Europe’s Stability and Growth Pact and offers a proposal for its reform. It argues that Europe would be best served by focusing on the fundamental causes of unsustainable debts — public enterprises that are too big to fail, unfunded public pension schemes that are too big to ignore, inefficient and costly labor market and social welfare problems, and budget making institutions that create common pool and free-rider problems — rather than on arbitrary numerical indicators like whether the budget deficit is above or below 3 per cent of GDP. It proposes defining an index of institutional reform with, say, a point each for reform of budget making arrangements, reform of public pension schemes, and reform of labor markets and unemployment insurance. Countries receiving three points would be exempt from the Pact’s numerical guidelines, since there is no reason to think that they will be prone to chronic deficits. The others, whose weak institutions render them susceptible to chronic deficits, would in contrast still be subject to its warnings, sanctions and fines.

Keywords: Stability Pact, fiscal policy, Europe

Cover page of The Euro Through a Glass Darkly

The Euro Through a Glass Darkly


On January 1st, Europe’s monetary union will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Congratulations are not exactly pouring in. For going on two years, growth in the countries of the Euro Area has been significantly slower than in the United States. Unemployment over much of the continent remains disturbingly high. The single currency has not been a tonic for Europe’s stagnant economy. To the contrary, numerous critics complain, the advent of the euro has only compounded Europe’s economic problems. This paper provides a review and analysis of the debate.

Cover page of Why Has There Been Less Financial Integration In Asia Than In Europe?

Why Has There Been Less Financial Integration In Asia Than In Europe?


This paper inquires into the causes of the contrasting experiences between Asia and Europe and asks what they bode for the future. It poses questions like: Is the contrast explicable in terms of the fact that Europe was earlier to begin the process of removing controls on cross-border portfolio capital flows? Is it explicable by the fact that Europe had better developed financial markets at the start of its regional monetary and financial integration project? Is the main difference deeper trade and factor market integration due to Europe’s Single Market project, compared to more partial and tentative moves toward regional trade integration in Asia? Or does the euro make a key difference through the elimination of exchange risk?

Cover page of Tax Reforms and "Modell Deutschland": Lessons from Four Years of Red-Green Tax-Policy

Tax Reforms and "Modell Deutschland": Lessons from Four Years of Red-Green Tax-Policy


When the red-green (SPD-Bündnis90/DieGrünen) coalition took over the federal government from the Christian-Democrat/Free-Democrat (CDU/CSU/FDP) coalition in 1998, tax reforms had a very high political priority. And, in fact, the government pushed through an astonishing number of far-reaching tax reforms/tax changes within a period of little more than two years. This paper follows two aims. First, it gives a short description of the measures taken and evaluates them with respect to tax theory and the German tax reform debate of the 1990s. Second, it explicitly addresses the question whether the tax changes were influenced by the wish to reform the Modell Deutschland, i.e. whether something substantial was done to change Germany´s status as a perceived high tax country and if so, whether the attempt was successful. It will be shown that even though the problem of high taxes might have been many observers´ and, indeed, also the government´s dominant concern, there was much more to the German debate. The chapter will also ask whether generously cutting taxes was the right thing to do. It demonstrates that under Germany´s peculiar economic and institutional circumstances at the end of the 1990s, the attempt to cut taxes led to serious problems for fiscal policy, growth, and employment.

Cover page of Lessons of the Euro for the Rest of the World

Lessons of the Euro for the Rest of the World


Europe’s single currency is widely invoked as a potential solution to the monetary and exchange rate problems of other regions, including Asia, Latin America, North America and even Africa. This lecture asks whether the Europe’s experience in creating the euro is exportable. It argues that the single currency is the result of a larger integrationist project that has political as well as economic dimensions. The appetite for political integration being less in other parts of the world, the euro will not be easily emulated. Other regions will have to find different means of addressing the tension between domestic monetary autonomy and regional integration. Harmonized inflation targeting may be the best available solution.

Cover page of The Uneasy Triangle

The Uneasy Triangle


"...It is impossible for any community to have very full employment and completely free collective bargaining and stable prices. Either one of the three will be completely sacrificed, or else all three will have to be modified."

"...In the last resort the answer will be given not by economists or by administrators but by the public opinion. At each corner of the triangle, the limiting factor is what public opinion will stand, and the degree of comprehension that public opinion will show for an economic policy that tries to preserve balance between competing objectives."

(The Economist, August-October, 1952: 376, 435)

Can Germany in the 1990s provide a contemporary example of the “uneasy triangle” posited by The Economist in the early 1950s? As the millennium approached, Germany’s inflation rate was very low; its unemployment rate unacceptably high; and its system of collective bargaining arguably the strongest to be found in any major industrial country. Public opinion appears to have played a more limiting role in the first of these corners of Germany’s triangles than in the other two.

Cover page of Restructuring “Germany Inc.”: The Politics of Company and Takeover Law Reform in Germany and the European Union

Restructuring “Germany Inc.”: The Politics of Company and Takeover Law Reform in Germany and the European Union


The reform of German company law by the Control and Transparency Law (“KonTraG”) of 1998 reveals politics of corporate governance liberalization. The reforms strengthened the supervisory board, shareholder rights, and shareholder equality, but left intra-corporate power relations largely intact. Major German financial institutions supported the reform’s contribution to the modernization of German finance, but blocked mandatory divestment of equity stakes and cross-shareholding. Conversely, organized labor prevented any erosion of supervisory board codetermination. Paradoxically, by eliminating traditional takeover defenses, the KonTraG’s liberalization of company law mobilized German political opposition to the EU’s draft Takeover Directive and limited further legal liberalization.