52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions in Motion - Breaking the Path", 21-25 August 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia
The paper deals with the geographies of the European economic crisis that had its origins in the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The crisis pushed many European economies into a deep recession and caused a mass unemployment in many countries. The crisis is analysed in a monetary economy framework that builds upon the post-Keynesian economic theories such as the monetary theory of production and the chartalist theory of money. These theories focus on the operational realities of banking, credit creation and finance as well as processes of production, income creation and government spending. Hence, the theoretical framework constructed in the paper provides a comprehensive analytical tool for examining relationships between money, finance and production, the key elements of the monetary economy. It is argued in the paper that the monetary economy perspective has a lot to offer for the geographical analysis of the economic crises and the contemporary economic system in general. In other words, it is argued that economists and economic geographers need to pay more attention to the central dynamics of monetary economy. The geographical investigation of the commanding processes of monetary economy conducted in the paper brings up the essential dynamics behind the European economic crisis. The analysis will be focused on the processes that turned the financial crisis into a recession of real economy. In addition, a brief look is taken at the anatomy of the European sovereign debt crisis. The empirical analysis shows that the geographical differences in demand structures, in the liquidity preferences of different economic actors and in the basic institutional structures of monetary economy were essential elements of the crisis. The first conclusion of the paper is that the European economic crisis was a characteristic crisis of monetary economy where money and monetary conditions affect motives and decisions of the economic actors. The second conclusion is that the geographical perspective is necessary in order to expose the central dynamics of the crisis and dynamics of monetary economy in general. Therefore, the theoretical framework constructed in the paper should be utilized more widely in the geographical analysis of contemporary economic system in the future.
Financial crisis Economic crisis Monetary economy Regional development