Money, Banks and Finance in Economic Thought

François Perroux on Monetary Integration in Europe

Masini Fabio, University of Roma Tre

François Perroux hardly received any attention in the history of economic thought, probably for the lack of translations into English of his writings (but even among his contemporaries, maybe for his unconventional personality and character). Most works on his contribution to economics are devoted to the theory of development poles, which accompanied French – but also Italian, Latin American, African and elsewhere in the world – industrial planning for some decades since the Fifties. Recently, since in the economic literature appeared harsh critiques against the euro, several studies and posts on popular blogs recalled the role of Perroux not only in drafting one of the first plans for monetary union in Europe in 1943, but also for his allegedly key role in the political circles that led to the Schuman declaration of May 9, 1950 and the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. Perroux was indeed a strong supporter of international integration and he extensively dealt with this topic in the following years. What is striking in these recent critical remarks, is the explicit accusation to Perroux of being one of the major responsible for the current shortcomings of the European governance related to the euro, allegedly making the Eurozone bound to depression. The aim of this paper is to shed some light on the role of Perroux in the building of European integration and make justice of the content and role of his plan of 1943 in the intellectual history of monetary integration in Europe.

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Keywords: Perroux, Europe, Monetary integration, Federalism

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