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Monetary unions, external shocks and economic performance: A Latin American perspective

  • Sebastian Edwards

    ()

During the last few years there has been a renewed analysis in currency unions as a form of monetary arrangement. This new interest has been largely triggered by the Euro experience. Scholars and policy makers have asked about the optimal number of currencies in the world economy. They have analyzed whether different countries satisfy the traditional “optimal currency area” criteria. These include: (a) the synchronization of the business cycle; (b) the degree of factor mobility; and (c) the extent of trade and financial integration. In this paper I analyze the desirability of a monetary union from a Latin American perspective. First, I review the existing literature on the subject. Second, I use a large data set to analyze the evidence on economic performance in currency union countries. I investigate these countries’ performance on four dimensions: (a) whether countries without a national currency have a lower occurrence of “sudden stop” episodes; (b) whether they have a lower occurrence of “current account reversal” episodes; (c) what is their ability to absorb international terms of trade shocks; and (d) what is their ability to absorb “sudden stops” and “current account reversals” shocks. I find that belonging to a currency union does not lower the probability of facing a sudden stop or a current account reversal. I also find that external shocks are amplified in currency union countries. The degree of amplification is particularly large when compared to flexible exchange rate countries.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10368-006-0056-2
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Economics and Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 225-247

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Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:225-247
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  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 1009-25, July.
  2. Andrew Berg & Eduardo Borensztein & Paolo Mauro, 2002. "An Evaluation of Monetary Regime Options for Latin America," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 178, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Sebastian Edwards, 2002. "Does the Current Account Matter?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 21-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George S. Tavlas, 2009. "Optimum-Currency-Area Paradoxes," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 536-551, 08.
  5. Eduard Hochreiter & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Georg Winckler, 2002. "Monetary Union: European Lessons, Latin American Prospects," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 167, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2003. "Flexible Exchange Rates as Shock Absorbers," NBER Working Papers 9867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eichengreen, Barry, 1998. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6fw631qn, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2001. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," Working Paper Series rwp01-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Sebastian Edwards & Igal Magendzo, 2003. "A Currency of One's Own? An Empirical Investigation on Dollarization and Independent Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, Or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," NBER Working Papers 10957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Silvana Tenreyro & Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Economic Effects of Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Working Papers 6620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Belke, Ansgar & Gros, Daniel, 2002. "Monetary integration in the Southern Cone," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 323-349, December.
  16. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  17. Engel, Charles M & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Currency Unions and International Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  19. Hochreiter, Eduard & Siklos, Pierre L., 2002. "Alternative exchange-rate regimes: The options for Latin America," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 195-211, December.
  20. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Fewer Monies, Better Monies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 238-242, May.
  21. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  22. Tamim Bayoumi, 1994. "A Formal Model of Optimum Currency Areas," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(4), pages 537-554, December.
  23. Larrain Felipe & Jose Tavares, 2003. "Regional Currencies Versus Dollarization: Options for Asia and the Americas," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 35-49.
  24. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. "ìNew" Views on the Optimum Currency Area Theory: What is EMU Telling US?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 140, Royal Economic Society.
  26. Tavlas, G.S., 1991. "On the International Use of Currencies: the Case of the Deutsche Mark," Princeton Studies in International Economics 181, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  27. Sebastian Edwards & I. Igal Magendzo, 2003. "Strict Dollarization and Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 9820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. George Kopits, 2002. "Central European EU Accession and Latin American Integration: Mutual Lessons in Macro-Economic Policy Design," Working Papers 75, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  29. Kopits, George, 2002. "Central European EU accession and Latin American integration: Mutual lessons in macroeconomic policy design," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 253-277, December.
  30. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "The Choice of Exchange Rate Regime in Developing and Middle Income Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7), pages 9-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Guillermo A. Calvo & Ernesto Talvi, 2005. "Sudden Stop, Financial Factors and Economic Collpase in Latin America: Learning from Argentina and Chile," NBER Working Papers 11153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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