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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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Publication status: published as Sebastian Edwards, 2006. "Monetary unions, external shocks and economic performance: A Latin American perspective," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 225-247, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12229

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  1. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
  2. George Kopits, 2002. "Central European EU Accession and Latin American Integration: Mutual Lessons in Macro-Economic Policy Design," Working Papers 75, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
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  4. Andrew Berg & Paolo Mauro & Eduardo Borensztein, 2002. "An Evaluation of Monetary Regime Options for Latin America," IMF Working Papers 02/211, International Monetary Fund.
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  10. Sebastian Edwards & Igal Magendzo, 2003. "A Currency of One's Own? An Empirical Investigation on Dollarization and Independent Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
  13. Kopits, George, 2002. "Central European EU accession and Latin American integration: Mutual lessons in macroeconomic policy design," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-277, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  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. 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.
  4. David G. Mayes & Vesa Korhonen, 2006. "The CIS: Does the Regional Hegemony Facilitate Monetary Integration?," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 107, pages 173-196.
  5. Slavov, Slavi T., 2009. "Do common currencies facilitate the net flow of capital among countries?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 124-144, August.
  6. Campa, Jose M. & Gavilán, Angel, 2006. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," IESE Research Papers D/651, IESE Business School.
  7. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2006. "Disentangling business cycles and macroeconomic policy in Mercosur: a VAR and unobserved components model approaches," Post-Print halshs-00134317, HAL.
  8. 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.
  9. John Williamson, 2006. "A worldwide system of reference rates," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 341-352, December.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Julian Berengaut, 2006. "Beauty Queens and Wallflowers," IMF Working Papers 06/226, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Campa, Jose Manuel & Gavilan, Angel, 2011. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 205-228, February.

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