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Monetary unions, external shocks and economic performance: A Latin American perspective

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  • Sebastian Edwards

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Abstract

During the last few years there has been a renewed analysis in currency unions as a form of monetary arrangement. This new interest has been largely triggered by the Euro experience. Scholars and policy makers have asked about the optimal number of currencies in the world economy. They have analyzed whether different countries satisfy the traditional “optimal currency area” criteria. These include: (a) the synchronization of the business cycle; (b) the degree of factor mobility; and (c) the extent of trade and financial integration. In this paper I analyze the desirability of a monetary union from a Latin American perspective. First, I review the existing literature on the subject. Second, I use a large data set to analyze the evidence on economic performance in currency union countries. I investigate these countries’ performance on four dimensions: (a) whether countries without a national currency have a lower occurrence of “sudden stop” episodes; (b) whether they have a lower occurrence of “current account reversal” episodes; (c) what is their ability to absorb international terms of trade shocks; and (d) what is their ability to absorb “sudden stops” and “current account reversals” shocks. I find that belonging to a currency union does not lower the probability of facing a sudden stop or a current account reversal. I also find that external shocks are amplified in currency union countries. The degree of amplification is particularly large when compared to flexible exchange rate countries.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10368-006-0056-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Economics and Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 225-247

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Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:225-247

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=111059

Related research

Keywords: Monetary union; Business cycle; Multi nation currency;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.
  2. Barbara Pfeffer, 2008. "Do regional Trade and Specialization drive intra-regional Risk-Sharing?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200813, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Mayes, David G & Korhonen, Vesa, 2007. "The CIS – does the regional hegemon facilitate monetary integration?," BOFIT Discussion Papers 16/2007, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  4. Cohen, Joseph N., 2008. "Managing the Faustian bargain: monetary autonomy in the pursuit of development in Eastern Europe and Latin America," MPRA Paper 22435, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. John Williamson, 2006. "A worldwide system of reference rates," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 341-352, December.
  6. Levan Efremidze & Samuel M. Schreyer & Ozan Sula, 2011. "Sudden stops and currency crises," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 304-321, November.
  7. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2006. "Disentangling business cycles and macroeconomic policy in Mercosur: a VAR and unobserved components model approaches," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2006-15, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Tavlas, George & Dellas, Harris & Stockman, Alan C., 2008. "The classification and performance of alternative exchange-rate systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 941-963, August.
  9. José M. Campa & Ángel Gavilán, 2006. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0638, Banco de Espa�a.
  10. Garcia Rocabado, Daniel, 2010. "The road to monetary union in Latin America: An EMS-type fixed exchange rate system as an intermediate step," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 85, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  11. Slavov, Slavi T., 2009. "Do common currencies facilitate the net flow of capital among countries?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 124-144, August.
  12. Campa, Jose Manuel & Gavilan, Angel, 2011. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 205-228, February.
  13. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2009. "Does a Monetary Union protect again shocks? An assessment of Latin American integration," Post-Print halshs-00371069, HAL.
  14. Omotor, Douglason G. & Niringiye, Aggrey, 2011. "Optimum Currency Area and Shock Asymmetry: A Dynamic Analysis of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 71-82, September.
  15. Céline Gimet, 2007. "Le projet d'Union Monétaire dans le Mercosur :Etude de la position actuelle dans les pays par rapport à une carte de critères de soutenabilité," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(2), pages 249-273.
  16. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Julian Berengaut, 2006. "Beauty Queens and Wallflowers--Currency Unions in the Middle East and Central Asia," IMF Working Papers 06/226, International Monetary Fund.

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