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The theory of optimum currency areas, trade adjustment, and trade

  • Jacques Mélitz

This article seeks to provide a closer integration of the theory of optimum currency areas with the theory of international trade. A currency area is treated as a continuous variable ranging from zero to one: zero if there is no enlargement, and some positive value otherwise, corresponding exactly to the percentge of trade in the enlarged area. The benefits of widening a currency area are then regarded, in terms of conventional trade theory, as equivalent to a reduction in transportation cost. The costs of widening a currency area are seen, instead, with reference to open economy macroeconomics, as a drop in the speed of adjustment of the terms of trade to their long-run equilibrium level. On this basis, it is shown that the marginal benefits of enlarging a currency area fall, the marginal costs rise, and an optimum size arises. But this size depends heavily on the optimal composition of the members. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF01891898
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 7 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 99-116

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:7:y:1996:i:2:p:99-116
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  1. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," CEPR Discussion Papers 643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  3. Cohen, Daniel & Wyplosz, Charles, 1989. "The European Monetary Union: An Agnostic Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jacques Mélitz, 1995. "A suggested reformulation of the theory of optimal currency areas," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 281-298, July.
  5. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of Monetary Unification," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt791143kp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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