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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. George S. Tavlas, 2009. "Optimum-Currency-Area Paradoxes," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 536-551, August.
    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. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    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. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:13:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s41549-017-0012-y is not listed on IDEAS

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