Construir sobre la base del euro

El euro tiene ya seis anos. Es tiempo de analizar su comportamiento y si ha cumplido con las expectativas que acompañaron su nacimiento. Esas expectativas no fueron modestas. Al reducir los costos de las transacciones y las incertidumbres cambiarias, se esperaba que la moneda única europea condujera a mercados financieros y de bienes plenamente integrados. Esto a su vez, traería mayores ganancias del intercambio comercial, una competencia más vigorosa, mayores flujos transfronterizos de capital, menores costos de financiamiento, y más oportunidades para compartir riesgos, lo cual se esperaba que aumentaría a final de cuentas la inversión y la productividad.

La realidad ha decepcionado. Comparado con los cinco años previos al lanzamiento del euro en 1999, el crecimiento de la productividad desde entonces ha disminuido en Italia, Alemania, España y los Países Bajos, mientras que en el mismo periodo se ha acelerado o ha permanecido constante en Dinamarca, Suecia y el Reino Unido, los miembros de la Unión Europea que permanecen fuera del euro. De hecho, a excepción de Francia, el euro no parece haber sido una bendición para los países que lo adoptaron.

¿Por qué esta decepción? ¿Acaso los beneficios esperados de la nueva moneda no han logrado materializarse? Diversos estudios económicos recientes han abordado esta pregunta a la luz de diferentes indicadores.

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