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Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
Forces converging towards market equilibria are stronger than institutional arrangements. That, in the opinion of the author, is the main lesson to be drawn from the 1992 EMS crisis. The implications of the crisis are relevant for the future of the European Community, for Italian politics and also for economic theory. At the EC level, the breakdown of the Delors scheme for unification (money first, politics second) takes the process back to square one. Priorities are now clearly on the side of politics, while no monetary arrangement is sustainable without political consensus. For Italian politics the crisis is relevant at various levels: the failure of the "strong-lira policy" should have made clear that monetary constraints are useless when there is no agreement over the distribution of real resources. Finally, economic theory should give more weight to the institutional dimension of monetary phenomena, particularly when debating the role of money in the process of economic development.