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Monetary Unions, External Shocks and Economic Performance: A Latin American Perspective

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

During the last few years there has been a renewed analysis in currency unions as a form of monetary arrangement. This new interest has been largely triggered by the Euro experience. Scholars and policy makers have asked about the optimal number of currencies in the world economy. They have analyzed whether different countries satisfy the traditional %u201Coptimal currency area%u201D criteria. These include, among other: (a) the synchronization of the business cycle; (b) the degree of factor mobility; and (c) the extent of trade and financial integration. In this paper I analyze the desirability of a monetary union from a Latin American perspective. First, I review the existing literature on the subject. Second, I use a large data set to analyze the evidence on economic performance in currency union countries. I investigate these countries%u2019 performance on four dimensions: (a) whether countries without a national currency have a lower occurrence of %u201Csudden stop%u201D episodes; (b) whether they have a lower occurrence of %u201Ccurrent account reversal%u201D episodes; (c) what is their ability to absorb international terms of trade shocks; and (d) what is their ability to absorb %u201Csudden stops%u201D and %u201Ccurrent account reversals%u201D shocks. I find that belonging to a currency union has not lower the probability of facing a sudden stop or a current account reversal. I also find that external shocks have been amplified in currency union countries. The degree of amplification is particularly large when compared to flexible exchange rate countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12229.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12229

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  3. Larrain Felipe & Jose Tavares, 2003. "Regional Currencies Versus Dollarization: Options for Asia and the Americas," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 35-49.
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  5. Kopits, George, 2002. "Central European EU Accession and Latin American Integration: Mutual Lessons in Macro-Economic Policy Design," Working Papers 75, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  6. Eichengreen, Barry, 1998. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6fw631qn, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  8. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. "ìNew" Views on the Optimum Currency Area Theory: What is EMU Telling US?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 140, Royal Economic Society.
  9. Edwards, Sebastian & Magendzo, I. Igal, 2006. "Strict Dollarization and Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 269-282, February.
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  16. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Winckler, Georg & Hochreiter, Eduard, 2002. "Monetary Union: European Lessons, Latin American Prospects," Working Papers 68, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  17. Edwards, Sebastian & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 2005. "Flexible exchange rates as shock absorbers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2079-2105, November.
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  19. Tamim Bayoumi, 1994. "A Formal Model of Optimum Currency Areas," IMF Working Papers 94/42, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Belke, Ansgar & Gros, Daniel, 2002. "Monetary integration in the Southern Cone," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 323-349, December.
  24. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  25. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "The Choice of Exchange Rate Regime in Developing and Middle Income Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7), pages 9-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2006. "Disentangling business cycles and macroeconomic policy in Mercosur: a VAR and unobserved components model approaches," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2006-15, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  2. Tavlas, George & Dellas, Harris & Stockman, Alan C., 2008. "The classification and performance of alternative exchange-rate systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 941-963, August.
  3. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.
  4. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2009. "Does a Monetary Union protect again shocks? An assessment of Latin American integration," Post-Print halshs-00371069, HAL.
  5. José M. Campa & Ángel Gavilán, 2006. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0638, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. John Williamson, 2006. "A Worldwide System of Reference Rates," Working Papers 45, Bank of Greece.
  7. Barbara Pfeffer, 2008. "Do regional Trade and Specialization drive intra-regional Risk-Sharing?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200813, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  8. Levan Efremidze & Samuel M. Schreyer & Ozan Sula, 2011. "Sudden stops and currency crises," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 304-321, November.
  9. Omotor, Douglason G. & Niringiye, Aggrey, 2011. "Optimum Currency Area and Shock Asymmetry: A Dynamic Analysis of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 71-82, September.
  10. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Julian Berengaut, 2006. "Beauty Queens and Wallflowers--Currency Unions in the Middle East and Central Asia," IMF Working Papers 06/226, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Garcia Rocabado, Daniel, 2010. "The road to monetary union in Latin America: An EMS-type fixed exchange rate system as an intermediate step," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 85, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  12. Céline Gimet, 2007. "Le projet d'Union Monétaire dans le Mercosur :Etude de la position actuelle dans les pays par rapport à une carte de critères de soutenabilité," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(2), pages 249-273.
  13. Cohen, Joseph N., 2008. "Managing the Faustian bargain: monetary autonomy in the pursuit of development in Eastern Europe and Latin America," MPRA Paper 22435, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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