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New Monetary Unions in Africa: a Major Change in the Monetary Landscape?


  • Paul R. Masson


Africa has important initiatives to build regional currency areas and ultimately a single African currency. Calculations using a calibrated model show that the proposed monetary unions are unlikely to yield net economic benefits for all countries, suggesting that all-inclusive monetary unions are not incentive-compatible—even if trade doubles as a result of sharing a currency. Central banks are assumed not to be immune from pressures to finance governments. While a monetary union will to some extent dilute the influence of individual governments, countries that exhibit fiscal discipline would not want to join a monetary union with others that do not. Given the heterogeneity across countries, monetary unions could be selectively expanded but not encompass all countries in a region.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul R. Masson, 2006. "New Monetary Unions in Africa: a Major Change in the Monetary Landscape?," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 107, pages 87-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepiei:2006-3td

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-1025, July.
    2. Vladimir Chaplygin & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Christian Richter, 2006. "Monetary integration in the ex-Soviet Union: A 'union of four'? ," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 47-68, March.
    3. Vrowley, Patrick M. & Maraun, Douglas & Mayes, David, 2006. "How hard is the euro area core? : an evaluation of growth cycles using wavelet analysis," Research Discussion Papers 18/2006, Bank of Finland.
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    Cited by:

    1. Coulibaly, Issiaka & Gnimassoun, Blaise, 2013. "Optimality of a monetary union: New evidence from exchange rate misalignments in West Africa," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 463-482.

    More about this item


    Currency unions; african trade; fiscal discipline; monetary block; models;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


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