Seignorage Wealth in the Eurosystem: Eurowinners and Eurolosers Revisited

20 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2000

See all articles by Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Holger Feist

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: November 2000

Abstract

The rules laid down in Article 32 of the Protocol No. 18 on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank of the Maastricht Treaty will significantly redistribute European seignorage income and hence the implicit entitlement to the 352 billion Euro stock of interest bearing assets which the central banks contributed to the currency union as of 1 January 1999. According to current plans, the redistribution will start by 1 January 2002. In terms of wealth equivalents and anticipating the Greek participation, Germany will lose 30 billion Euro (or 59 billion deutschmarks) and France will gain 31 billion Euro (or 202 billion French francs). Portugal will gain 3.9 billion Euro (or 792 billion escudos) and Spain will lose 11 billion Euro (or 1.879 billion pesetas). In per capita terms, Luxembourg, Finland and France will be the main winners with gains of 1.309, 627 and 527 Euro, respectively, whereas a German will lose 366 and a Spaniard 287 Euro. The paper argues that this redistribution was not intended by the signing parties and recommends a revision of the Maastricht Treaty to correct the mistake.

Keywords: central banks, European integration, European Monetary Union, seignorage

JEL Classification: E58, F33, F42

Suggested Citation

Sinn, Hans-Werner and Feist, Holger, Seignorage Wealth in the Eurosystem: Eurowinners and Eurolosers Revisited (November 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=254573 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.254573

Hans-Werner Sinn (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

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Holger Feist

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
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United States
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+1 609 258-2809 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~hfeist

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
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49 89 39 73 03 (Fax)

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