THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE EURO FOR PRIVATE CONSUMERS IN POLAND
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The article presents the potential advantages and disadvantages of introducing the euro in Poland, on the basis of macro- and microeconomic theories. In particular, the authoress examines the implications of the move for private consumers. She presents the results of empirical analyses and surveys of residents in the 12 European Union member states that introduced the euro in 2002. In the final part, the authoress discusses the findings of polls into the feelings and expectations of Poles with regard to the country's planned accession to the euro zone. She notes that in the EU-12 euro-zone countries, the adoption of the euro has led to varied economic and psychological implications, including an increase of prices and social frustration. Many consumers were initially disoriented and needed time to adapt to the new situation. These psychological costs negatively influenced the public's perception of the benefits of the euro. In Poland, the euro will probably benefit around 30 percent of the population in the initial period, while the rest will primarily feel the costs of the move. Thus negative psychological effects are likely to provoke price hikes. Considering the worries that Polish consumers expressed in the surveys and their skeptical attitude toward the euro, the process of replacing the zloty with the single European currency should be properly organized. It should be accompanied by a public awareness campaign to highlight possible difficulties.
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