Storia di due aree valutarie

PALO ALTO – Gli Stati Uniti e l’Europa sono due gigantesche aree di libero scambio che, per quanto ricche, devono fare i conti con gravi problemi nel breve periodo e con grandi sfide nel lungo periodo. Sono altresì due aree con una moneta unica: gli Usa utilizzano il dollaro, mentre gran parte dell’Europa si avvale dell’euro. Le sfide che dovranno affrontare sono enormi.

Solo l’unione monetaria europea, però, è incerta sul proprio futuro; l’America non dovrà affrontare alcuna crisi esistenziale per quanto riguarda la valuta. Le analogie e le differenze tra le due potenze economiche, soprattutto in relazione alla mobilità interna dei lavoratori, alla produttività e alle politiche fiscali, suggeriscono il perché di tale situazione – e forniscono indizi sulla possibilità o meno che Eurolandia superi le crisi dei paesi periferici e si trasformi in un’area stabile con una moneta unica.

La mobilità dei lavoratori dalle aree più povere verso quelle più ricche funge da ammortizzatore contro le avversità economiche. L’altro ammortizzatore naturale è la moneta deprezzata, in grado di incrementare la competitività nell’area colpita più duramente. A tal scopo la moneta unica rappresenta un ostacolo, e l’aggiustamento economico diventa doppiamente difficile quando la forza lavoro non è abbastanza mobile da poter attenuare le contrazioni regionali di reddito e disoccupazione.

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