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Is the proposed East African Monetary Union an optimal currency area? a structural vector autoregression analysis

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  • Buigut, Steven K.
  • Valev, Neven T.

Abstract

The treaty of 1999 to revive the defunct East African Community (EAC) ratified by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania came into force on July 2000 with the objective of fostering a closer co-operation in political, economic, social, and cultural fields. To achieve this, an East Africa Customs Union protocol was signed in March 2004. A Common Market, a Monetary Union, and ultimately a Political Federation of East Africa states is planned. Though the question of a monetary union has been discussed in the political arena there has been no corresponding empirical study on the economic viability of such a union. This article fills the gap and assesses whether the political force driving the EAC towards a monetary union has economic basis. In particular, we focus on the symmetry of the underlying shocks across the East African economies as a precondition for forming an optimum currency area (OCA). As Mundell (1961) and McKinnon (1963) describe, the member countries of a monetary union do not have independent monetary policy, which differs from that of the union as a whole; governments cannot use monetary and exchange rate policies to react to a country-specific shock. How serious this limitation is for the union countries depends on the degree of asymmetry of shocks and the speed with which the economies adjust to these shocks. If disturbances are distributed symmetrically across union countries, a common response will suffice. If, however, the countries face mostly asymmetric shocks, the retention of policy autonomy is beneficial.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2119-2133

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:33:y:2005:i:12:p:2119-2133

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simplice A, Asongu, 2012. "Are Proposed African Monetary Unions Optimal Currency Areas? Real, Monetary and Fiscal Policy Convergence Analysis," MPRA Paper 41552, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An Empirical Test of Trade Gravity Model Criteria for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," MPRA Paper 7083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Suleiman Abu-Bader & Aamer Abu-Qarn, 2006. "On the Optimality of a GCC Monetary Union: Structural VAR, Common Trends and Common Cycles Evidence," Working Papers 225, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  4. Simplice A Asongu, 2013. "A Short-run Schumpeterian Trip to Embryonic African Monetary Zones," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 859-873.
  5. Asongu Simplice, 2013. "How would monetary policy matter in the proposed African monetary unions? Evidence from output and prices," Working Papers 13/013, African Governance and Development Institute..
  6. Chuku, Chuku, 2012. "The proposed eco: should West Africa proceed with a common currency?," MPRA Paper 43739, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Buigut, Steven & Valev, Neven T., 2009. "Benefits from Mutual Restraint in a Multilateral Monetary Union," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 585-594, March.
  8. Laetitia Lepetit & Clovis Rugemintwari & Frank Strobel, 2012. "Monetary, Financial and Fiscal Stability in the East African Community: Ready for a Monetary Union?," Working Papers hal-00916699, HAL.
  9. Qureshi, Mahvash Saeed & Tsangarides, Charalambos G., 2012. "Hard or Soft Pegs? Choice of Exchange Rate Regime and Trade in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 667-680.
  10. Durevall, Dick, 2011. "East African Community: Pre-conditions for an Effective Monetary Union," Working Papers in Economics 520, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  11. Mahvash Saeed Qureshi & Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2006. "What is Fuzzy About Clustering in West Africa?," IMF Working Papers 06/90, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2009. "Alternative reconsideration of output growth differrential for the West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 13416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Gammadigbé, Vigninou, 2012. "Les cycles économiques des pays de l'UEMOA: synchrones ou déconnectés?
    [Business cycles in the WAEMU countries: synchronous or disconnected?]
    ," MPRA Paper 39400, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.
  14. Thomas Kigabo RUSUHUZWA & Paul Robert MASSON, 2012. "Design and Implementation of a Common Currency Area in the East African Community," Working Papers tecipa-451, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  15. Simplice A, Asongu, 2012. "Are Proposed African Monetary Unions Optimal Currency Areas? Real and Monetary Policy Convergence Analysis," MPRA Paper 36056, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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