In Part 1 of the Teaching Company course, “America and the New Global Economy,” Professor Timothy Taylor discusses the origination of the euro. Four goals he says were sought: free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. Central especially to people and goods moving from country to country was not only a common currency but also roads.
So, I returned to the Google World Bank statistics site to check out the proportion of European roads that were paved. Starting with the world, I discovered that the overall average in 2000 was 36.3 percent. Then, I added the original 12 eurozone countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Neatherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Seven nations were at 99 percent or higher! Only one was close to 60 percent. Which ones? I suggest you go there to look.
The Economic Lesson
A transportation infrastructure is crucial for economic growth. In the United States, we started with roads, soon had a canal infrastructure, and then saw a railroad network develop. A eurozone goal, free movement across varied economic regions, was achieved in the United States long before the end of the 19th century.