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EssayWriting.org ... Free Database ... Economics
Below you can an extract from a research paper on economics developed by our writers. With the project you can find the requirements provided by the customer. 

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... Free Sample on Economics

Topic: The European Union and Euro

Requirements:

Asked by editor in chief to write a newspaper article explaining the issues that surround the European Union and the euro. Have been asked to address the following particular points. A discussion of the impacts of the single currency the euro on business and individuals. View point as to the merits or otherwise of joining the single currency.

Project Developed: 

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE EURO: PROS VS. CONS

On the 1st of January this year, Europe finally obtained a full-fledged single currency for the participating members. While any monetary unit potentially represents a whole vector of values--store of wealth, means of exchange and transfer, and legal tender--the euro was but a 'reduced' currency up until early this year. Therefore, when it comes to cross-comparisons and judging on relative performance in the world's major financial markets, such observations are only just beginning to gain relevance and validity. Whatever the performance of a newly introduced currency covering a large area of participants, unless it had a chance to be tested along its every dimension of value (and consumers have certainly not been exposed to the euro until very recently), direct comparisons with respect to missing (idle) dimensions aren't exactly correct. Nor are they when testing involves observations chiefly on the downside (and the ongoing recession in the region has certainly not been very conducive to such tests). In any event, then, the currency's adequacy should properly be judged over a longer haul; that also shapes its historical reputation. 
We have begun our discussion with caveats. 

For valid conclusions, one need see the big picture as well as the key benchmarks to assess against. However, one has to also delineate whatever irrelevant or non-representative criteria might possibly bias the analysis early on. Now is about time to approach the primary question of whether the sustainable existence of the new currency (and the Monetary Union for that matter) can be rationalized. Basically, who will likely be the winners and the losers, and what is the net benefit to society at large?

Goes without saying, integration is attached with its sure benefits amounting to the effect of a restored, full-fledged opportunity set enjoyed by the agents. What we mean by that becomes apparent after recognizing that no sum of disintegrated, reduced opportunity sets (individual economies) can emulate the large "parent" economy. One way of seeing that would be to visualize a large enterprise broken down into a host of smaller units (possibly spun off) trying to produce the exact same things while having to incur largely the same costs (we primarily talk structures not levels). Likewise, would a market broken down into many tiny niches support many small telecom providers just as efficiently as it could one or two entities? Where economies of scale is what matters or where entry costs are high, it takes size to produce it all. In other words, it takes integration to restore a complete opportunity set; the gain obtained would amount to the savings off of integrating. 

Now, that all sounds plausible, but can we maintain that reasoning for just any type of integration? Does monetary integration (or switch to a single currency) secure the same sources of benefits as does economic integration or some of its weaker forms like trade? Not necessarily: indeed, switch to another currency carries standalone benefits as well as costs. For one thing, a single currency would translate into ease of comparison, whether it be on a level of prices, investment opportunities, or interest rates. Consumers who travel heavily and enjoy shopping will definitely benefit in a number of ways. Firstly, they now see a clearer picture of prices and standards of living. That, along with employment opportunities and quality of transportation/ commuting could even affect the pattern of migration or human capital allocation). Secondly, such information leading to more cross-border shopping would imply more trade, and further price convergence. Indeed, the arbitrage opportunities would become apparent and hence subject to faster elimination. Investors, be it portfolio (securities markets) or direct (investing in productive units abroad) will too see a clearer table of risk/cost/return tradeoffs, choosing the best out there. Inferior prospects and businesses now being exposed and subjected to severer competition, will have better incentives to adapt. One caveat here is, competition will certainly act to enhance the overall efficiency; however, unlike the popular misperception, that is not necessarily tantamount to higher profitability. The very cast of players might undergo a painful change, with average margins likely to decline. However, that should not be viewed as a sign of a major crisis; the whole 'crisis' is really about the rent (surplus) being largely distributed from producers to consumers as one consequence of competition and free trade. Again, how do we attain efficiency? By picking up idle opportunities, which is more likely the easier the comparison. That lower cost of information is but another aspect of lower overall transaction costs that result from a breeder-coverage currency and affect the agents' choices.

Another factor is no more exchange rate risk within the area, easily because there are no more individual currencies per se. That this is a single most crucial determinant in the investor's choice should be obvious: if a good chunk of your export proceeds is to be consumed by cross-depreciation of a currency, and your capital structure shows a jittery proportion of debt denominated in another currency (revaluing), you'll think twice before treading that terrain of overleveraged opportunity again. Pretty much the same holds for inflation which can be perceived as one source of value added deterioration, much like a tax or transportation costs. The European common currency has inflation targeting among its immediate priorities, too. 

Do these benefits come as a windfall, or do they have cost attached? For the most part, they pertain to long run. In the short run, scores of costs are likely to emerge. For one, such integration would seem to compromise individual sovereignty. To maintain a low inflation (drawing on the good legacy of Germany's Bundesbank), nations will need to cooperate in adjusting their monetary policy targets--in fact, by foregoing the very prerogative of having own monetary policies. That might be especially problematic in light of the apparent asymmetry of players, whose close yet diverse developmental and institutional frameworks could result in very different and still diverging short-run agendas. One answer to this structural part could be that, any such integration whether economic or monetary with necessity implies institutional convergence, even transition, which by definition would supposedly act to eliminate those key asymmetries. As far as the sovereignty part is concerned, any collective choice necessarily involves a conflict with individual interests, possibly to result in opportunism ex post. The latter depends on whether the reform is (ir)reversible, or the contractual scheme enforceable. But in any event, we have raised an important issue of there being a need in distinguishing between "will there be net gains overall" versus "should we (as an individual nation) join, and will we likely win in every respect at all times." 

The ultimate effect of integration (single currency) will affect other, indirect stakeholders too. Regardless of whether our reform is reversible or otherwise and whether its is gradual or a big bang, theirs will always be reversible and optimally gradual: they'll update their portfolios of choices at the right time and to the right extent, and will reserve every right to defect at all times. "They" are agents (regions) who possibly have strong investment or trading stakes with the participating territories. Thailand trades with France, and South Korea has assembly lines in Eastern Europe. And here comes another reason to update our agenda: not just any currency is important enough to be used as transaction currency. The Estonian krona may be the safest and most stable money in the world, but that alone does not suffice to be a global currency. By far the more volatile unit, the US dollar, is the dominant transaction currency in trade operations between Singapore and Bahrein, and between most others, and that pattern won't like be reversed overtime with the advent of the euro as one alternative. 


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