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How should large and small countries be represented in a currency union?

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  • Helge Berger

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  • Till Mueller

Abstract

The likely extension of the euro area has triggered a debate on the organization of the ECB, in particular on the apparent mismatch between relative economic size and voting rights in the Council. We present a simple model of optimal representation in a federal central bank addressing this question. Optimal voting weights reflect two opposing forces: the wish to insulate common monetary policy from changing preferences at the national level, and the attempt to avoid an overly active or passive reaction to idiosyncratic national economic shocks. A perfect match between economic size and voting rights is rarely optimal, and neither is the one country, one vote principle. Empirically, there are indications that the pattern of over- and under-representation of member countries in the ECB Council might be extreme by the standards of the US Fed and German Bundesbank and not always optimal. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 132 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 471-484

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:132:y:2007:i:3:p:471-484

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Central bank; Federal central bank; Currency union; Optimal representation; Voting; ECB; D72; E52; E58; F33;

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Cited by:
  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2008. "The Stress of Having a Single Monetary Policy in Europe," KOF Working papers 08-190, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  2. Arnold, Ivo J.M., 2006. "Optimal regional biases in ECB interest rate setting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 307-321, June.
  3. Hefeker, Carsten, 2004. "Uncertainty, Wage Setting and Decision Making in a Monetary Union," HWWA Discussion Papers 272, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  4. Helge Berger, 2006. "Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 207-235, September.
  5. Badinger, Harald & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "National representation in supranational institutions: The case of the European Central Bank," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 19-33.
  6. Helge Berger & Till Mueller, 2004. "How Should Large and Small Countries Be Represented in a Currency Union?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1344, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Ansgar Belke & Barbara Schnurbein, 2012. "European monetary policy and the ECB rotation model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 289-323, April.
  8. Helge Berger, 2006. "Unfinished business? The ECB reform ahead of euro area enlargement," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 35-41, December.

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