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Economic Effects of Currency Unions

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  • Silvana Tenreyro
  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

This paper develops a new instrumental-variable (IV) approach to estimate the effects of different exchange rate regimes on bilateral outcomes. The basic idea is that the characteristics of the exchange rate regime between two countries (exchange rate variability, fixed or float, autonomous or common currencies) are partially related to the independent decisions of these countries to peg explicitly or de facto to a third currency, notably that of a main anchor. Our approach is to use this component of the exchange rate regime as an IV in regressions of bilateral outcomes. We illustrate the methodology with one specific application: the economic e.ects of currency unions. The likelihood that two countries independently adopt the currency of the same anchor country is used as an instrument for whether they share or not a common currency. Three findings stand out. First, sharing a common currency enhances trade supporting previous work by Rose [2000]. Second, a common currency increases price co-movements; this finding is consistent with the observation that a large part of the variation in real exchange rates is caused by fluctuations in nominal exchange rates. Finally, a common currency decreases the co-movement of shocks to real GDP. This is consistent with the view that currency unions lead to greater specialization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9435.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as Barro, Robert and Silvana Tenreyro. "Economic Effects Of Currency Unions." Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International (2007), vol. 45(1): 1-23.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9435

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  1. Rose, Andrew, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," Seminar Papers 678, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 2000. "An Estimate of the Effect of Currency Unions on Trade and Output," CEPR Discussion Papers 2631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "Closed and Open Economy Models of Business Cycles with Marked Up and Sticky Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 434-456, 04.
  4. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  5. 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.
  6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Borders, Trade and Welfare," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 508, Boston College Department of Economics.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Barro, Robert & Alesina, Alberto, 2002. "Currency Unions," Scholarly Articles 4551795, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  10. Jeffrey Frankel & Andrew Rose, 2002. "An Estimate Of The Effect Of Common Currencies On Trade And Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 437-466, May.
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