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Self-Validating Optimum Currency Areas

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  • Corsetti, Giancarlo
  • Pesenti, Paolo

Abstract

In this Paper we show that a currency area can be a self-validating optimal policy regime, even when monetary unification does not foster real economic integration and intra-industry trade. This is because profit-maximizing producers in a currency area adopt endogenous pricing strategies that make exchange rate fluctuations highly costly in welfare terms. In our model exporters choose the degree of exchange rate pass-through onto export prices given monetary policy rules, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, which define two self-validating currency regimes. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency only, and let foreign-currency prices to be determined by the law of one price. Optimal policy rules then target the domestic output gap and floating exchange rates support the flex-price allocation. In the second equilibrium firms optimally preset prices in local currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although business cycles are more synchronized with a common currency, flexible exchange rates are superior in terms of welfare.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3220.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3220

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Keywords: exchange rate pass-through; monetary union; nominal rigidities; optimal cyclical monetary policy; optimum currency areas;

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References

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  1. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibility," Working Papers 042000, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mélitz, Jacques, 1993. "The Theory of Optimum Currency Areas, Trade Adjustment and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. 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.
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  17. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
  18. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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