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The Benefits And Costs Of Monetary Union In Southern Africa: A Critical Survey Of The Literature

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  • George S. Tavlas

Abstract

With the 14 members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) having set the objective of adopting a common currency for the year 2018, an expanding empirical literature has emerged evaluating the benefits and costs of a common-currency area in Southern Africa. This paper reviews that literature, focusing on two categories of studies: (1) those that assume that a country's characteristics are invariant to the adoption of a common currency and (2) those that assume that a monetary union alters an economy's structure, resulting in trade creation and credibility gains. The literature reviewed suggests that a relatively small group of countries, typically including South Africa, satisfies the criteria necessary for monetary unification. The literature also suggests that, in a monetary union comprising all SADC countries and a regional central bank that sets monetary policy to reflect the average economic conditions (e.g. fiscal balances) in the region, the potential losses (i.e. higher inflation) from giving up an existing credible national central bank, a relevant consideration for South Africa, could outweigh any potential benefits of trade creation resulting from a common currency. Copyright © 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • George S. Tavlas, 2009. "The Benefits And Costs Of Monetary Union In Southern Africa: A Critical Survey Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 1-43, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:23:y:2009:i:1:p:1-43
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    Cited by:

    1. Xavier Debrun & Paul R. Masson, 2013. "Modelling Monetary Union in Southern Africa: Welfare Evaluation for the CMA and SADC," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(2), pages 275-291, June.
    2. Apostolides, Alexander, 2008. "“How Similar to South-Eastern Europe were the Islands of Cyprus and Malta in terms of Agricultural Output and Credit? Evidence during the Interwar Period”," MPRA Paper 9968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Krzysztof Beck, 2016. "Business Cycle Synchronization In European Union: Regional Perspective," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 11(4), pages 785-815, December.
    4. Alexis Cruz-Rodriguez, 2013. "Choosing and Assessing Exchange Rate Regimes: a Survey of the Literature," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 28(2), pages 37-61, October.
    5. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Costs and Benefits of the EMU and Other Monetary Unions: An Overview of Recent Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 603-641, September.
    6. Roumen Avramov & Dragana Gnjatovic, 2008. "Stabilization Policies in Bulgaria and Yugoslavia During Communism's Terminal Years : 1980s Economic Visions in Retrospect," Working Papers 81, Bank of Greece.
    7. Sophia Lazaretou, 2008. "Banking and Central Banking in Pre-WWII Grecce: Money and Currency Developments," Working Papers 86, Bank of Greece.
    8. Stefan Eichler & Alexander Karmann, 2011. "Optimum Currency Areas in Emerging Market Regions: Evidence Based on the Symmetry of Economic Shocks," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(5), pages 935-954, November.
    9. Milan Sojic & Ljiljana Djurdjevic, 2008. "Monetary Policy Objectives and Istruments used by the Privileged National Bank of the Kingdom of Serbia (1884 - 1914)," Working Papers 87, Bank of Greece.
    10. Marc-Alexandre Sénégas, 2010. "La théorie des zones monétaires optimales au regard de l'euro : Quels enseignements après dix années d'union économique et monétaire en Europe ?," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 120(2), pages 379-419.
    11. George S. Tavlas, 2009. "Optimum-Currency-Area Paradoxes," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 536-551, August.
    12. Mulatu F. Zerihun & Marthinus C. Breitenbach & Francis Kemegue, 2014. "A Greek Wedding In SADC? Testing For Structural Symmetry Towards SADC Monetary Integration," The African Finance Journal, Africagrowth Institute, vol. 16(2), pages 16-33.
    13. Stephan Barisitz, 2008. "Banking Transformation (1989 - 2006) in Central and Eastern Europe - With Special Reference to Balkans," Working Papers 78, Bank of Greece.
    14. Ellyne, Mark & Chater, Rachel, 2013. "Exchange Controls and SADC Regional Integration: Measuring SADC Restrictiveness," MPRA Paper 58649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Yuksel Gormez, 2008. "Banking in Turkey: History and Evolution," Working Papers 83, Bank of Greece.
    16. Peter Bernholz, 2008. "Government Bankruptcy of Balkan Nations and their Consequences for Money and Inflation before 1914: A Comparative Analysis," Working Papers 74, Bank of Greece.
    17. Zarko Lazarevic, 2008. "Banking Performance in South-Eastern Europe During the Interwar Period," Working Papers 79, Bank of Greece.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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