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The Optimality of a Monetary Union Without a Fiscal Union

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  • Beetsma, Roel
  • Bovenberg, A Lans

Abstract

The paper explores the case for monetary and fiscal unification. Monetary policy suffers from an inflation bias because the monetary authorities are not able to commit. With international risk-sharing in a fiscal union, fiscal discipline suffers from moral hazard. An inflation target alleviates the inflation bias but weakens fiscal discipline. In a monetary union, however, this adverse effect on fiscal discipline is weaker. This advantage of monetary unification may outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to employ monetary policy to stabilize country-specific shocks. While monetary unification may thus be optimal, international risk-sharing may be undesirable because it weakens fiscal discipline.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1975.

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Date of creation: Sep 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1975

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Related research

Keywords: Fiscal Discipline; fiscal transfer scheme; Inflation Targets; Monetary Union; Moral Hazard;

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References

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  1. Anne Sibert, 1996. "Monetary Integration and Economic Convergence," Archive Working Papers 030, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  2. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73564, Tilburg University.
  3. Sorensen, B-E & Yosha, O, 1996. "International Risk Sharing and European Monetary Unification," Papers 40-96, Tel Aviv.
  4. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 1562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Jensen, Henrik, 1994. "Loss of monetary discretion in a simple dynamic policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 763-779.
  6. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Lans Bovenberg, A., 1997. "Designing fiscal and monetary institutions in a second-best world," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 53-79, February.
  7. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, `Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," NBER Working Papers 5251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Monetary Cohabitation in Europe," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 111-16, May.
  9. Taylor, John B., 1983. "`Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy' by Robert J. Barro and David B. Gordon," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 123-125.
  10. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  11. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 94-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  14. Stanley Fischer, 1995. "Modern Approaches to Central Banking," NBER Working Papers 5064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Guy Debelle, 1996. "Central Bank Independence: A Free Lunch?," IMF Working Papers 96/1, International Monetary Fund.
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