Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Currency Areas: Why Does the Exchange Rate Regime Matter? (With an Application to UK Membership in EMU)

Contents:

Author Info

  • W.H. Buiter

Abstract

Microeconomic efficiency and market transparency argue in favour of UK membership in EMU and for Scotland's membership in the UK monetary union and also in EMU. UK seigniorage (government revenues from money issuance) would be boosted by EMU membership. Lender of last resort arrangements would not be substantially affected by UK membership in EMU. The UK is too small and too open to be an optimal currency area. The same point applies even more emphatically to Scotland. The 'one-size-fits-all', 'asymmetric shocks' and 'cyclical divergence' objections to UK membership are based on the misapprehension that independent national monetary policy, and the associated nominal exchange rate flexibility, can be used effectively to offset or even neutralise asymmetric shocks. This 'fine tuning delusion' is compounded by a failure to understand that, under a high degree of international financial integration, market-determined exchange rates are primarily a source of shocks and instability. Instead, opponents of UK membership in EMU view exchange rate flexibility as an effective buffer for adjusting to asymmetric shocks originating elsewhere. I know of no evidence that supports such an optimistic reading of what exchange rate flexibility can deliver under conditions of very high international financial capital mobility. The economic arguments for immediate UK membership in EMU, at an appropriate entry rate, are overwhelming. Monetary union raises important constitutional and political issues. It involves a further surrender of national sovereignty to a supranational institution, the ECB/ESCB. It is essential that this transfer of national sovereignty be perceived as legitimate by those affected by it. In addition, the citizens of the UK have become accustomed to a high standard of openness and accountability of their central bank since it gained operational independence in 1997. The ECB/ESCB must be held to the same high standard, and, while there are grounds for optimism, there still is some way to go there.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0462.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0462.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0462

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: European Economic and Monetary Union; asymmetric shocks; national sovereignty;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 181-209, 06.
  2. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimality of the Friedman Rule in Economies with Distorting Taxes," NBER Working Papers 4443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  4. Engel, C. & Rogers, J.H., 1995. "How Wide is the Border?," Papers 4-95-16, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. G Alogoskoufis & R Portes & H Rey, 1998. "The Emergence of the Euro as an International Currency," CEP Discussion Papers dp0388, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Buiter, Willem H, 1997. "The Economic Case for Monetary Union in the European Union," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 10-35, Supplemen.
  7. Dutt, Swarna D., 1994. "The foreign exchange market efficiency hypothesis revisiting the puzzle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 459-465, August.
  8. Feist, Holger & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "Eurowinners and Eurolosers: The Distribution of Seigniorage Wealth in EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 1747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Masson, Paul R & Taylor, Mark P, 1992. "Common Currency Areas and Currency Unions: An Analysis of the Issues," CEPR Discussion Papers 617, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Minford, Patrick & Rastogi, Anupam, 1992. "The Price of EMU Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hakkio, Craig S. & Rush, Mark, 1989. "Market efficiency and cointegration: an application to the sterling and deutschemark exchange markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 75-88, March.
  12. Mark P. Taylor & Ronald MacDonald, 1991. "Exchange Rate Economics: A Survey," IMF Working Papers 91/62, International Monetary Fund.
  13. William Poole, 1969. "Optimal choice of monetary policy instruments in a simple stochastic macro model," Special Studies Papers 2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Grossman, Sanford J, 1995. " Dynamic Asset Allocation and the Informational Efficiency of Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 773-87, July.
  15. Erkel-Rousse, Hélène & Mélitz, Jacques, 1995. "New Empirical Evidence on the Costs of European Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 1169, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Charles Goodhart, 1999. "Recent Developments in Central Banking: Some Special Features of the Monetary Policy Committee and of the European System of Central Banks," FMG Special Papers sp118, Financial Markets Group.
  17. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R, 1994. "Fiscal Flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for Monetary Union in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Stefan Gerlach & Frank Smets, 1995. "The monetary transmission mechanism: Evidence from the G-7 countries," BIS Working Papers 26, Bank for International Settlements.
  19. Crowder, William J, 1994. "Foreign exchange market efficiency and common stochastic trends," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-564, October.
  20. Otmar Issing, 1999. "The Eurosystem: Transparent andAccountable or 'Willem in Euroland'," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 503-519, 09.
  21. Andrew Brigden & Charles Nolan, 1999. "Monetary stabilisation policy in a monetary union: some simple analytics," Bank of England working papers 102, Bank of England.
  22. De Grauwe, Paul & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 1991. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area? Evidence from Regional Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 555, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Paul R. Masson & Steven A. Symansky, 1993. "Evaluating the EMS and EMU Using Stochastic Simulations," IMF Working Papers 93/28, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-89, September.
  25. Robert J. Shiller, 1995. "Conversation, Information, and Herd Behavior," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1092, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  26. Lajaunie, John P & McManis, Bruce L & Naka, Atsuyuki, 1996. "Further Evidence on Foreign Exchange Market Efficiency: An Application of Cointegration Tests," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 31(3), pages 553-64, August.
  27. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1996. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern96-1, July.
  28. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Feist, Holger, 1997. "Eurowinners and Eurolosers: The distribution of seigniorage wealth in EMU1," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 665-689, December.
  29. repec:fth:inseep:9516 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Swarna Dutt & Dipak Ghosh, 1995. "The foreign exchange market efficiency hypothesis revisited," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(9), pages 311-315.
  31. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "The EMU and the NAMU: What is the Case for North American Monetary Union?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(3), pages 285-305, September.
  32. Sanford Grossman, 1989. "The Informational Role of Prices," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262572141, December.
  33. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1996. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern95-1, July.
  34. Haskel, Jonathan & Wolf, Holger C, 1999. "Why Does the 'Law of One Price' Fail? A Case Study," CEPR Discussion Papers 2187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  35. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  36. Paul Krugman, 1996. "Are Currency Crises Self-Fulfilling?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 345-407 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Rina Bhattacharya & Jane Binner, 1998. "The shocking nature of output fluctuations in some EU countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(8), pages 1101-1125.
  38. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  39. Zietz, Joachim, 1995. "Some Evidence on the Efficiency of the Forward Market for Foreign Exchange from Monte-Carlo Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1471-87, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Dellas, Harris & Tavlas, George, 2010. "An Optimum Currency Area Odyssey," CEPR Discussion Papers 7645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Salá Rios, Mercé & Farré Perdiguer, Mariona & Torres Solé, Teresa, 2011. "El ciclo económico de Cataluña. Un análisis de la simetría respecto a España y a la UEM/Catalonia's Business Cycle. An Analysis of the Symmetry in Relation to Spain and the EMU," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 913 (24 pá, Diciembre.
  3. J James Reade & Ulrich Volz, 2010. "Too Much to Lose, or More to Gain? Should Sweden Join the Euro?," Discussion Papers 10-13, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  4. Riccardo DiCecio & Edward Nelson, 2010. "Euro Membership as a U.K. Monetary Policy Option: Results from a Structural Model," NBER Chapters, in: Europe and the Euro, pages 415-439 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Giancarlo Corsetti, 2008. "A Modern Reconsideration of the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas," European Economy - Economic Papers 308, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  6. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Seppo Honkapohja & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2007. "Chapter 2: Macroeonomic adjustment in the euro area – the cases of Ireland and Italy," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 59-72, 02.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0462. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.