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Theoretical Issues Pertaining to Monetary Unions

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

The optimal currency area (OCA) concept is central to the economic analysis of monetary unions, as it clearly identifies the relevant optimizing tradeoff: extension of the area over which a single currency is used enhances allocative efficiency but reduces the possibility of tailoring monetary policy to the needs of different areas. Empirical work has verified the importance of various features of economies that make them strong or weak candidates for a common currency arrangement, but existing studies do not permit actual quantification of costs and benefits. Thus the OCA concept remains less than fully operational. A second relevant body of theory is that pertaining to currency crises. Formal models clarify various points concerning speculative attacks on fixed exchange rates, and show how abrupt reserve losses and depreciations can occur rationally at times when no major shocks are hitting the system. These models support the notion that a fixed (but adjustable) exchange- rate regime is not a viable option for most nations, given high mobility of financial capital. Also discussed is the recently- developed fiscal theory of price level determination, which if valid would have major implications for monetary-fiscal arrangements in currency unions. This theory does not contend that fiscal behavior drives an accommodative monetary authority, but rather that the price level roughly mimics the pattern of the government bond stock rather than base money when their paths differ drastically. An example is exposited in which there are two rational expectations solutions for an economy with a constant money supply: a traditional solution in which the price level is also constant and a fiscalist solution in which the price level and bond stock both explode as time passes. These solutions represent competing hypotheses about the behavior of actual economies; the paper suggests that the former is more likely to prevail in actuality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7393.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7393

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  2. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Felipe G. Morandé & Matías Tapia, 2002. "Exchange Rate Policy in Chile: From the Band to Floating and Beyond," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 152, Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Bennett T. McCallum, 2004. "Monetary Policy In Economies With Little Or No Money," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 81-92, 06.
  3. Leith, Campbell & Warren, Paul & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2003. "Fiscal policy, interest rate shocks and prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 361-382, March.
  4. Felipe Morandé L. & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel D., 2000. "Alternative monetary schemes: a positive evaluation for the chilean peso," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 3(1), pages 57-84, April.
  5. Felipe Morandé & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2000. "Chile's Peso: Better Than (Just) Living with the Dollar?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 68, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. S G Hall & B Yhap, 2003. "Measuring the Correlation of Shocks between the UK and the Core of Europe," NIESR Discussion Papers 213, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  7. Dabrowski, Marek & Radziwill, Artur, 2007. "Regional vs. Global Public Goods: The Case of Post-Communist Transition," MPRA Paper 11967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. António Afonso, 2002. "Disturbing the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: Can it Fit the EU-15," Working Papers Department of Economics 2002/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  9. Thomas Plümper & Vera E. Troeger, 2004. "External Effects of Currency Unions," CIG Working Papers SP II 2004-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  10. Obinyeluaku, Moses & Viegi, Nicola, 2009. "How does fiscal policy affect monetary policy in the Southern African Community (SADC)?," MPRA Paper 15372, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Jérôme Trotignon, 2003. "EMU enlargement towards CEEC’s : risks of sector-based and geographic asymmetric shocks," Working Papers 0309, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  12. Dabrowski , Marek, 2013. "Monetary policy regimes in CIS economies and their ability to provide price and financial stability," BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2013, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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