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EMU: An Outsider's Perspective


This talk was presented at the Finlay-O'Brien Lecture, delivered at University College, Dublin, October 7, 1996. One of the themes is that the economics profession knows little about EMU's benefits and costs. But while EMU is a gamble, it is probably a gamble worth taking, if you believe, as I do, that the EMU project is integrally linked to the effective completion of the Single Market, and that the benefits of the Single Market are large. EMU also has costs, and it is the difficulty of quantifying them that creates the uncertainty. Most discussions focus on the costs of forsaking monetary autonomy – that countries which give up a separate national currency give up recourse to an independent monetary response to economic shocks. While there is some merit to this argument, I will suggest that these costs are not the ones about which Irish policymakers and their constituents should be particularly worried.

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