IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

On the welfare benefits of an international currency

  • Kannan, Prakash

Is it beneficial for a country's currency to be used internationally? And, if so, can we quantify the benefit? Since the emergence of the euro, there has been great interest in the consequences of a transfer of the dollar's premier international role to the euro. This paper presents a novel model-based approach towards assessing the welfare benefits associated with the international use of a country's currency. Apart from the familiar benefits associated with seigniorage, residents of the issuing country experience an increase in the purchasing power of their currency both at home and abroad. In the calibration exercise carried out in this paper, we find the benefits of an international currency to be quantitatively significant. The welfare gain for the Euro area in having the euro internationally used ranges from 1.9% to 2.3% of consumption depending on relative inflation rates. The rest of the world is not indifferent as to which currency circulates as the dominant international currency. Conditional on their currency not being used internationally, their preference is for the dominant international currency to be the one with the lowest inflation rate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 588-606

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:5:p:588-606
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chinn, Menzie David & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2006. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar As Leading International Reserve Currency?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4hz4n9pb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Philipp Hartmann, 1997. "Does Reuters Spreads Reflect Currencies Differences in Global Trading Activity?," FMG Discussion Papers dp265, Financial Markets Group.
  3. S. Boragan Aruoba & Randall Wright, 2003. "Search, money, and capital: a neoclassical dichotomy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1085-1117.
  4. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Money is memory," Staff Report 218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Rey, Hélène, 1999. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," CEPR Discussion Papers 2226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Michael B. Devereux & Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Vehicle currency," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 10, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    • Michael B. Devereux & Shouyong Shi, 2013. "Vehicle Currency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 97-133, 02.
  7. Guillaume Rocheteau & Christopher J. Waller, 2005. "Bargaining and the value of money," Working Paper 0501, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. Gabriele Camera & Ben R. Craig & Christopher J. Waller, 2003. "Currency competition in a fundamental model of money," Working Paper 0311, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-89, September.
  10. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric Van Wincoop, 2002. "A theory of the currency denomination of international trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 747, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Wright Randall & Trejos Alberto, 2001. "International Currency," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-17, April.
  12. Matsuyama, Kiminori & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Matsui, Akihiko, 1993. "Toward a Theory of International Currency," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 283-307, April.
  13. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Working Paper 0211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. Alogoskoufis, George & Portes, Richard & Rey, Hélène, 1997. "The Emergence of the Euro as an International Currency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Paul R. Krugman, 1979. "Vehicle Currencies And the Structure Of International Exchange," NBER Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Goldberg, Linda S. & Tille, Cédric, 2008. "Vehicle currency use in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 177-192, December.
  17. Ehud Kalai, 1977. "Proportional Solutions to Bargaining Situations: Interpersonal Utility Comparisons," Discussion Papers 179, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Paul R. Krugman, 1984. "The International Role of the Dollar: Theory and Prospect," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 261-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Prakash Kannan, 2007. "On The Welfare Benefits Of An International Currency," 2007 Meeting Papers 29, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. S. Boragan Aruoba & Randall Wright, 2002. "Search, Money and Capital: A Neoclassical Dichotomy, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 03 Sep 2003.
  21. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1979. "Money in International Exchange: The Convertible Currency System," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195024098.
  22. Wallace, Neil, 2001. "Whither Monetary Economics?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 847-69, November.
  23. Alberto Trejos & Randall Wright, 1996. "Search-theoretic models of international currency," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 117-132.
  24. Barry Eichengreen, 2005. "Sterling's Past, Dollar's Future: Historical Perspectives on Reserve Currency Competition," NBER Working Papers 11336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  26. Grassman, Sven, 1973. "A fundamental symmetry in international payment patterns," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 105-116, May.
  27. John F. O. Bilson & Richard C. Marston, 1984. "Exchange Rate Theory and Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bils84-1, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:5:p:588-606. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.