• Problematic theoretical considerations of monetary unions

      Baimbridge, Mark J. (2018-10)
      Although the eurozone sovereign debt crisis took many by surprise following the Global Financial Crisis induced Great Recession, this chapter argues that this was an accident waiting to happen with unjustified emphasis placed upon unproven rules and institutions derived from contemporary neoliberal macroeconomic thinking. First, recent developments in macroeconomic are discussed and evaluated in terms of the so-called New Consensus Macroeconomics (NCM) that forms the current mainstream macroeconomic model comprising a blend of New Classical and New Keynesian theories is through adopting the rational behaviour hypothesis and supply-side-determined long-term equilibrium of output. A particular feature of these ideas is the inclusion of rules and institutions that are perceived to result in time consistent policymaking through essentially binding politicians from undertaking in non-optimal behaviour for either opportunistic, partisan or non-rational expectations reasons. Second, in addition to the general backdrop of macroeconomics the chapter considers the notion of a monetary union between countries under the rubric of both exogenous and endogenous Optimum Currency Area (OCA) theory. This combination of theoretical propositions form the bedrock of the eurozone where the TEU convergence criteria and SGP form the rules, while the European Central Bank is the key institution tasked with delivering low and stable price inflation. However, although these notions have become the staple diet of a generation of mainstream economists they comprehensively failed to insulate the eurozone from its sovereign debt crisis.