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Unlike the United States, Europe experienced reductions in the number of hours of work as well as lower proportions of the total population in the work force in the 1990s. These adverse developments take on new importance with the launch of the Euro. Most commentators agree that a common currency will reduce transaction costs and intensify trade across Europe. But the introduction of the Euro also restricts the range of policy options open to individual European countries and places more pressure on national labor markets. This report discusses patterns that appear likely to emerge, with particular focus on labor markets.
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