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Mundell Revisited: a Simple Approach to the Costs and Benefits of a Single Currency Area

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  • Stephen Ching
  • Michael B. Devereux

Abstract

The paper evaluates the costs and benefits of a single currency area within a unified framework. Conventionally, it is argued that a single currency area carries a welfare loss owing to the sacrifice of exchange rate adjustment in the presence of country-specific shocks. But in 1973 Mundell argued that a single currency area offers risk-sharing benefits when capital markets are limited in their ability to facilitate consumption insurance. The authors construct a simple model and compare a system of independent national currencies to a single currency area. The presence of country-specific shocks may either reduce or enhance the benefits of a single currency area, depending on the importance of exchange rate adjustment relative to risk-sharing. In a simple quantitative analysis, we find that either regime may dominate, although the utility differences between the two regimes are very small. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Ching & Michael B. Devereux, 2003. "Mundell Revisited: a Simple Approach to the Costs and Benefits of a Single Currency Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 674-691, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:11:y:2003:i:4:p:674-691
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barry Eichengreen, 1998. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency," NBER Working Papers 6821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry & Mauro, Paolo, 2000. "On Regional Monetary Arrangements for ASEAN," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 121-148, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Warin & Phanindra V. Wunnava & Hubert P. Janicki, 2009. "Testing Mundell's Intuition of Endogenous OCA Theory," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 74-86, February.
    2. J.M.C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2010. "Currency Unions in Prospect and Retrospect," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 51-74, September.
    3. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.
    4. Amartya Lahiri & Rajesh Singh & Carlos A. Vegh, 2007. "Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning Mundell-Fleming's Dictum on its Head," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 54(3), pages 249-270, September.
    5. Ignazio Angeloni & Michael Flad & Francesco Paolo Mongelli, 2005. "Economic and monetary integration of the new Member States - helping to chart the route," Occasional Paper Series 36, European Central Bank.
    6. Lahiri, Amartya & Singh, Rajesh & Vegh, Carlos, 2007. "Segmented asset markets and optimal exchange rate regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-21, May.
    7. Marco Celentani & J. Conde-Ruiz & Klaus Desmet, 2007. "Inflation in Open Economies with Complete Markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(2), pages 271-291, May.
    8. Shu-ki Tsang, 2002. "Optimum Currency Area for Mainland HCina and Hong Kong? Empirical Tests," Working Papers 162002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "On the desirability of fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Staff Report 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    10. Vladimir Gligorov & Anna Iara & Michael Landesmann & Robert Stehrer & Hermine Vidovic, 2008. "Western Balkan Countries: Adjustment Capacity to External Shocks, with a Focus on Labour Markets," wiiw Research Reports 352, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    11. D’Aguanno, Lucio, 2015. "Monetary Policy and Welfare in a Currency Union," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1082, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    12. Klaus Desmet, 2002. "Asymmetric Shocks, Risk Sharing, and the Latter Mundell," Working Papers 0222, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    13. 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.
    14. Pierre M. Picard & Tim Worrall, 2015. "Currency Areas and Voluntary Transfers," CREA Discussion Paper Series 15-12, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    15. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
    16. Monika Blaszkiewicz-Schwartzman, 2007. "Explaining Exchange Rate Movements in New Member States of the European Union: Nominal and Real Convergence," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 144, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    17. Carsten K. Nielsen, 2009. "Optimal economic institutions under rational overconfidence, with applications to the choice of exchange rate regime," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(4), pages 375-407.
    18. Kim, Soyoung & Kim, Sunghyun H. & Wang, Yunjong, 2006. "Financial integration and consumption risk sharing in East Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-157, March.
    19. Ronald I. McKinnon, 2004. "Optimum Currency Areas and Key Currencies: Mundell I versus Mundell II," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 689-715, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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