Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The quest for monetary integration – the Hungarian experience

Zoican, Marius Andrei (2009): The quest for monetary integration – the Hungarian experience.

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Abstract

From 1990 onwards, Eastern European countries have had as a primary economic goal the convergence with the traditionally capitalist states in Western Europe. The usage of various exchange rate regimes to accomplish the convergence of inflation and interest rates, in order to create a fully functional macroeconomic environment has been one of the fundamental characteristics of states in Eastern Europe for the past 20 years. Among these countries, Hungary stands out as having tried a number of exchange rate regimes – from the adjustable peg in 1994‐1995 to free float since 2008. In the first part, this paper analyses the macroeconomic performance of Hungary during the past 15 years as a function of the exchange rate regime used. I also compare this performance, where applicable, with two similar countries which have used the most extreme form of exchange rate regime: Estonia (with a currency board) and Romania, who never officialy pegged its currency and used a managed float even since 1992. The second part of this paper analyzes the overall Hungarian performance from the perspective of the Optimal Currency Area theory, therefore trying to establish if, after 20 years of capitalism, and a large variety of monetary policies, Hungary is indeed prepared to join the European Monetary Union.

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