El Euro y los Precios Europeos

Entre los efectos que se tenía la esperanza de lograr con la introducción física del Euro se encuentran una mayor transparencia de las diferencias entre los precios al menudeo de los distintos países y una subsecuente presión para ecualizarlos. El argumento para esto último es simple: al eliminar las monedas nacionales y tener todos los precios en euros, ¿cómo es posible que los autos o las hogazas de pan similares tengan precios distintos en cada lado de una frontera? La presión para comprar en donde los precios son bajos y vender o, por lo menos, no comprar en donde los precios son altos, será formidable.

Ese argumento, sin embargo, es inocente, pues no hace falta un genio para comparar el precio de un auto en Alemania con el precio del mismo auto en Francia. Todo mundo hace esos cálculos cuando decide ir de vacaciones al extranjero, ¿por qué creer que las personas no lo hacen con otros bienes y servicios? La gente no es tan estúpida o tan floja como los políticos y los burócratas piensan. La pregunta interesante es: ¿qué tanto se deben las discrepancias entre los precios a la mera ignorancia y a la inercia, y qué tanto se deben a factores que tienen poca probabilidad de cambiar con la llegada del Euro?

Empezando con la evidencia disponible sobre los precios al menudeo. UBS, el grupo bancario suizo, calculó los precios de una canasta básica de 111 bienes y servicios en diversas ciudades alrededor del mundo. Los precios en las ciudades europeas se listan en la tabla que se muestra más adelante, utilizando al precio de Alemania como referencia. Obviamente, hay inmensas diferencias entre los precios. Si las personas en Finlandia hicieran sus compras en España, ¡incrementarían 50% su poder de adquisición! Entonces, si se diera una ecualización de precios, los ciudadanos de los países ricos tendrían un festín y los de los países más pobres pagarían con un ojo de la cara. Pero eso no sucederá; las diferencias en los niveles de precios no cambiarán mucho a pesar del Euro.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable

    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.