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

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.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Springer in its journal International Economics and Economic Policy.

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

in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:225-247
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. 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.
  2. Silvana Tenreyro & Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Economic Effects of Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2003. "Flexible Exchange Rates as Shock Absorbers," NBER Working Papers 9867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Tamim Bayoumi, 1994. "A Formal Model of Optimum Currency Areas," IMF Working Papers 94/42, International Monetary Fund.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Razin, Assaf, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Eduard Hochreiter & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Georg Winckler, 2002. "Monetary Union: European Lessons, Latin American Prospects," Working Papers 68, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  12. 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.
  13. Barry Eichengreen., 1998. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-103, University of California at Berkeley.
  14. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. ""New" views on the optimum currency area theory: what is EMU telling us?," Working Paper Series 0138, European Central Bank.
  18. Engel, Charles M & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Currency Unions and International Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Fewer Monies, Better Monies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 238-242, May.
  20. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Berg, Andrew & Borensztein, Eduardo & Mauro, Paolo, 2002. "An evaluation of monetary regime options for Latin America," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 213-235, December.
  22. 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.
  23. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
  24. 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.
  25. 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).
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. George S. Tavlas, 2009. "Optimum-Currency-Area Paradoxes," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 536-551, 08.
  30. Sebastian Edwards & I. Igal Magendzo, 2003. "Strict Dollarization and Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 9820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. 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,.
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:kap:iecepo:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:225-247. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.