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Monetary Unions, External Shocks and Economic Performance: A Latin American Perspective

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  • Sebastian Edwards

    (University of California, Los Angeles and National Bureau of Economic Research)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 43.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:43

Note: On February 24-25, 2006 an international workshop on “Regional and International Currency Arrangements” was held in Vienna. It was co-sponsored by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Bank of Greece, and jointly organized by Eduard Hochreiter and George Tavlas. Academic economists and researchers from central banks and international organizations presented and discussed current research, and reviewed and assessed the past experience with, and the future challenges of, international currency arrangements. A number of papers and the contributions by the discussants presented at this workshop are being made available to a broader audience in the Working Paper series of the Bank of Greece and simultaneously also in the Working Paper Series of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. The papers and the discussants’ comments will be published in the journal, International Economics and Economic Policy. Here we present the fifth of these papers. (The previous four were issued as Bank of Greece Working Papers No. 39 to 42.) In addition to the paper by Sebastian Edwards, the Working Paper also contains the contribution of the discussant, Enrique Alberola.
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Keywords: Regional and International Currency Arrangements;

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References

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  1. Hochreiter, Eduard & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Winckler, Georg, 2002. "Monetary union: European lessons, Latin American prospects," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 297-321, December.
  2. Tavlas, G.S., 1991. "On the International Use of Currencies: the Case of the Deutsche Mark," Princeton Studies in International Economics 181, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  3. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Fewer Monies, Better Monies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 238-242, May.
  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Andrew Berg & Eduardo Borensztein & Paolo Mauro, 2002. "An Evaluation of Monetary Regime Options for Latin America," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 178, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Working Papers 6620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "The Choice of Exchange Rate Regime in Developing and Middle Income Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7), pages 9-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. George S. Tavlas, 2009. "Optimum-Currency-Area Paradoxes," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 536-551, 08.
  11. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
  12. Tamim Bayoumi, 1994. "A Formal Model of Optimum Currency Areas," IMF Working Papers 94/42, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  14. Silvana Tenreyro & Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Economic effects of currency unions," Working Papers 02-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  15. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Belke, Ansgar & Gros, Daniel, 2002. "Monetary integration in the Southern Cone," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 323-349, December.
  17. Kopits, George, 2002. "Central European EU Accession and Latin American Integration: Mutual Lessons in Macro-Economic Policy Design," Working Papers 75, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  18. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2001. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," Working Paper Series rwp01-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  19. Kopits, George, 2002. "Central European EU accession and Latin American integration: Mutual lessons in macroeconomic policy design," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-277, December.
  20. Larrain Felipe & Jose Tavares, 2003. "Regional Currencies Versus Dollarization: Options for Asia and the Americas," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 35-49.
  21. Eichengreen, Barry, 1998. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6fw631qn, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  22. Hochreiter, Eduard & Siklos, Pierre L., 2002. "Alternative exchange-rate regimes: The options for Latin America," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 195-211, December.
  23. Sebastian Edwards & I. Igal Magendzo, 2003. "Strict Dollarization and Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 9820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Rose, Andrew K & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Currency Unions and International Integration," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1067-89, November.
  25. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  26. Sebastian Edwards & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2003. "Flexible Exchange Rates as Shock Absorbers," NBER Working Papers 9867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. "ìNew" Views on the Optimum Currency Area Theory: What is EMU Telling US?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 140, Royal Economic Society.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. George Tavlas & Harris Dellas & Alan Stockman, 2008. "The Classification and Perfomance of Alternative Exchange-Rate Systems," Working Papers 90, Bank of Greece.
  2. Pierre-Richard Agenor & Joshua Aizenman, 2008. "Capital Market Imperfections and the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," NBER Working Papers 14088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2007. "Disentangling business cycles and macroeconomic policy in Mercosur: a VAR and unobserved components model approaches," Post-Print halshs-00238495, HAL.
  7. 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.
  8. John Williamson, 2006. "A worldwide system of reference rates," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 341-352, December.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

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