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Self-Validating Optimum Currency Areas

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  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Paolo Pesenti

Abstract

In this paper we show that 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. This is because profit-maximizing producers in a currency area adopt endogenous pricing strategies that make exchange rate fluctuations highly costly in welfare terms. In our model exporters choose the degree of exchange rate pass-through onto export prices given monetary policy rules, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, which define two self-validating currency regimes. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency only, and let foreign-currency prices to 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 optimally preset prices in local currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although business cycles are more synchronized with a common currency, flexible exchange rates are superior in terms of welfare.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8783.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8783

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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Engel, Charles M & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Currency Unions and International Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2003. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange-Rate Flexibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 765-783.
  8. 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.
  9. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "The Need for International Policy Coordination: What's Old, What's New, What's Yet to Come?," NBER Working Papers 8765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
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  12. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare And Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445, May.
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  17. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
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  19. Barro, Robert & Alesina, Alberto, 2002. "Currency Unions," Scholarly Articles 4551795, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  22. 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.
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