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Self-validating optimum currency areas

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  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Paolo Pesenti

Abstract

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. In our model, firms choose the optimal degree of exchange rate pass-through to export prices while accounting for expected monetary policies, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules while taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, each of which defines a self-validating currency regime. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency and let prices in foreign currency 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 preset prices in consumer currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although a common currency helps synchronize business cycles across countries, flexible exchange rates deliver a superior welfare outcome.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 152.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:152

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Monetary unions;

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
  2. Neumeyer, Pablo Andres, 1998. "Currencies and the Allocation of Risk: The Welfare Effects of a Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 246-59, March.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," International Finance 0004002, EconWPA.
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  7. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibiity," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0016, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6ks1k831, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Jacques Mélitz, 1996. "The theory of optimum currency areas, trade adjustment, and trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 99-116, April.
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  14. 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,.
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  16. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
  17. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  18. 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.
  19. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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