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Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?

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  • Bofinger, Peter
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    Abstract

    The debate on EMU has been very influenced by the traditional theory of optimum currency areas (OCAs). The paper shows that this theory is not an ideal yardstick for an assessment of EMU. Its assumptions are not very realistic and its focus on asymmetric real shocks is much too narrow. In addition, observed past real exchange rate changes are not a good predictor of future real shocks in the European Union (EU). In general, the OCA approach is heavily biased towards very small currency areas. Because of these shortcomings the paper develops a monetary approach to the theory of OCAs. In this concept the choice between a monetary union and independent national currency areas is analysed from the perspective of monetary policy efficiency. It can be shown that EMU is superior to national currency areas in terms of credibility, the response to asymmetric monetary shocks and the effectiveness of monetary targets and instruments.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 915.

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    Date of creation: Feb 1994
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:915

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    Related research

    Keywords: European Monetary Integration; European Monetary Union; Optimum Currency Areas;

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    Cited by:
    1. H.P. Grãœner & C. Hefeker, 1995. "Domestic pressures and the exchange rate regime: why economically bad decisions are politically popular?," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(194), pages 331-350.
    2. Peter B. Kenen, 2000. "Currency areas, policy domains, and the institutionalization of fixed exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20170, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Hans Grüner & Carsten Hefeker, 1996. "Bank cooperation and banking policy in a monetary union: A political-economy perspective on EMU," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 183-198, July.
    4. Julius Horvath, 2004. "Optimum currency area theory: A selective review," Macroeconomics 0401014, EconWPA.
    5. Thomas D. Willett, 2001. "The OCA Approach to Exchange Rate Regimes: A Perspective on Recent Developments," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-04, Claremont Colleges.
    6. Eleni Roussou & Norman Cameron, 2005. "The Impact of the European Economic & Monetary Union on the Stability of the Greek Economy," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1-2), pages 85-98.
    7. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:23:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Luca Antonio Ricci, 1997. "Un modèle simple de zone monétaire optimale," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 128(2), pages 1-19.
    9. Weimann, Marco, 2002. "OCA theory and EMU eastern enlargement: An empirical application," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 07/02, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    10. Andrew Dickerson & Heather Gibson & Euclid Tsakalotos, 1998. "Business Cycle Correspondence in the European Union," Empirica, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 49-75, January.
    11. Horvath, Julius & Ratfai, Attila, 2004. "Supply and demand shocks in accession countries to the Economic and Monetary Union," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 202-211, June.
    12. Franz Pauer, 1996. "Will Asymmetric Shocks Pose a Serious Problem in EMU?," Working Papers 23, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    13. Jean Pisani-Ferry, 1994. "Union monétaire et convergence : qu'avons nous appris ?," Working Papers 1994-14, CEPII research center.

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