Luna-Arocas, R., Guzmán, G, Quintanilla, I. , y Farhangmehr, M.

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2001, 22, 441-460

The European Union proposes a potential social identity that Spain and Portugal wish to have as part and parcel of their process of modernisation and economic growth. The Euro is the symbol of this desire. As this study shows, in the process of changing to the new currency the pro-European attitudes are far more advanced than any real information citizens may have. As a result of this, the desire to be a European citizen is expressed in the new currency or any other symbol of identity that may strengthen this particular image. The support that citizens give to the Single European Currency comes more from the European identity than from the economic expectations or knowledge of the immediate consequences. Indeed, regression analysis was used to predict attitudes toward the Euro and the main predictors were European identity and microeconomic expectations. Moreover, this article suggests the use of market segmentation as a means of obtaining a more accurate account of citizen’s opinions of European Monetary Union (EMU). Cluster analysis revealed four clusters: “Indifferent”, “Pro-Euro Informed”, “Pro-Euro Uninformed” and “Against the Euro”.