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Overturning Mundell: fiscal policy in a monetary union

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  • Russell Cooper
  • Hubert Kempf

Abstract

Central to ongoing debates over the desirability of monetary unions is a supposed trade-off, outlined by Mundell [1961]: a monetary union reduces transactions costs but renders stabilization policy less effective. If shocks across countries are sufficiently correlated, then, according to this argument, delegating monetary policy to a single central bank is not very costly and a monetary union is desirable.> This paper explores this argument in a setting with both monetary and fiscal policies. In an economy with monetary policy alone, we confirm the presence of the trade-off and find that indeed a monetary union will not be welfare improving if the correlation of national shocks is too low. However, fiscal interventions by national governments, combined with a central bank that has the ability to commit to monetary policy, overturn these results. In equilibrium, such a monetary union will be welfare improving for any correlation of shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 311.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:311

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Keywords: Monetary unions ; Econometric models;

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  1. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2000. "Designing Stabilization Policy in a Monetary Union," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 99, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  2. Harold L. Cole & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Commodity Trade and International Risk Sharing: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter?," NBER Working Papers 3027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Exchange-Rate Pass-Through and the Welfare Effects of the Euro," Working Papers 0034, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "An Analysis of the Stability and Growth Pact," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 546-71, October.
  6. Helg, Rodolfo & Manasse, Paolo & Monacelli, Tommaso & Rovelli, Riccardo, 1995. "How much (a)symmetry in Europe? Evidence from industrial sectors," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 1017-1041, May.
  7. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 2755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fuerst, Timothy S., 1992. "Liquidity, loanable funds, and real activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-24, February.
  9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Working Papers 589, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Bayoumi, T. & Eichengreen, B., 1994. "One Money or Many? Analysing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Princeton Studies in International Economics 76, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  11. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2000. "Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates with Endogenously Segmented Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 7871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seigniorage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 61-71, February.
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1992. "Liquidity Effects and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 3974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chatterjee, S. & Corbae, D., 1990. "Endogenous Market Participation and the General Equelibrium Value of Money," Working Papers 90-30a, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  15. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates with Endogenously Segmented Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-112, February.
  16. Russell W. Cooper & Hubert Kempf., 2001. "Dollarization and the conquest of hyperinflation in divided societies," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-12.
  17. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," NBER Working Papers 6150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Aizenman, Joshua & Powell, Andrew, 1998. "The political economy of public savings and the role of capital mobility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 67-95, October.
  19. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  21. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "Interactions between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C93-108, March.
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