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The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6

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  • Kenneth A. Froot
  • Kenneth Rogoff

Abstract

When central banks are about to relinquish control over their exchange rate and enter into a currency union, the reptutational costs to devaluation are very low. As with any finite-horizon game, the endpoint affects the earlier expectations of private agents, here causing them to demand higher interest rates and higher wages from countries whose currencies are relatively weak. In looking at the countries within the EMS, we find that Italian long-term interest rates as well as price and wages levels relative to Germany show evidence of growing gaps We also find that the real appreciation of the lira appears to be predominantly due to increases in relative Italian government spending, and not to relatively rapid Italian productivity growth. Taken together, this evidence suggests that convergence within the EMS may have peaked. Furthermore, moving forward the date of currency union may in the short run increase both the growth of the gaps and the need for exchange-rate realignment.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1991. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan91-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10985.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10985

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    1. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-85, March.
    2. Svensson, L.E.O., 1990. "The Simplest Test of Target Zone Credibility," Papers 469, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    4. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    5. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "Can exchange rate predictability be achieved without monetary convergence? : Evidence from the EMS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 93-115.
    6. Meese, R. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Was It Real? The Exchange Rate-Interest Differential Ralation Over The Modern Floating-Rate Period," Working papers 368, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Baxter, M. & Stockman, A.C., 1988. "Business Cycles And The Exchange Rate System: Some International Evidence," RCER Working Papers 140, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    8. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
    9. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alberto Giovannini, 1990. "European Monetary Reform: Progress and Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 217-292.
    11. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
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