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The optimality of a monetary union without a fiscal union

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  • Beetsma, R.M.W.J.
  • Bovenberg, A.L.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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 Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1998-81.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199881

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Keywords: EMS; fiscal policy; moral hazard;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Monetary Cohabitation in Europe," Working Papers 96, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. 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.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
  5. Stanley Fischer, 1995. "Modern Approaches to Central Banking," NBER Working Papers 5064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gordon, R.H. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1994. "Why is capital so immobile internationally?: Possible explanations and implications for capital income taxation," Discussion Paper 1994-63, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Kletzer, Kenneth M., 1997. "Macroeconomic stabilization with a common currency: Does European Monetary Unification create a need for fiscal insurance of federalism?," ZEI Working Papers B 04-1997, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  9. Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 1998. "International risk sharing and European monetary unification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 211-238, August.
  10. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1997. "Designing fiscal and monetary institutions in a second best world," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74437, Tilburg University.
  15. Anne Sibert, 1996. "Monetary Integration and Economic Convergence," Archive Working Papers 030, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  16. Guy Debelle, 1996. "Central Bank Independence," IMF Working Papers 96/1, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 1998. "International Risk Sharing and European Monetary Unification," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 327, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
  19. 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.
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