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Economic Integration

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Economic integration is the establishment of a unified economic area where consumers and producers of different nations transact freely in a single market. Using the experience of the European Union, this essay offers a bird’s–eye view of the trade–offs encountered when supranational structures pursuing collective objectives of integration may infringe on national sovereignty. The range of issues examined include: (A) Determination of policy with multiple veto players. (B) The advantage and disadvantages from centralising policy making. (C) The welfare effects of a customs union from changing the flows of trade and factors of production across different countries. (D) The costs and benefits from adopting a single currency and its consequences for budgetary policy.


  • European Union
  • Member State
  • Monetary Policy
  • Central Bank
  • Economic Integration

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    For textbook expositions, see amongst others Senior Nello (2011), Baldwin and Wplosz (2012) and Saurugger (2013). Detailed analysis of monetary integration can be found in Issing (2008) and De Grauwe (2012). The interested reader is also referred to the papers in the volume edited by Artis and Nixson (2007).


  • The stock of scholarly work on the economic, political and legal aspects of European integration is enormous and, in view of the fast pace of the changes recent change, expanding rapidly. The following list is only a small sample of some of the most popular texts

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  • Artis M, Nixson F (2007) Economics of the European Union, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford

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  • Baldwin R, Wyplosz C (2012) The economics of European integration, 4th edn. McGraw Hill, Maidenhead

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  • De Grauwe P (2012) The economics of Monetary union, 7th edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford

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  • Issing O (2008) The birth of the Euro. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

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  • Saurugger S (2013) Theoretical approaches to European integration. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

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  • Senior Nello S (2011) The European Union: economics, policies and history, 3rd edn. McGraw Hill, Maidenhead

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  • For annual scholarly updates on EU developments the reader is referred to the Supplement of the Journal of Common Market Studies, an academic publication dedicated to EU issues, The interested reader may also consult the EU website: (in English)

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Correspondence to George Tridimas .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Tridimas, G. (2014). Economic Integration. In: Backhaus, J. (eds) Encyclopedia of Law and Economics. Springer, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4614-7883-6

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