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The Optimality of a Monetary Union without a Fiscal Union

  • Beetsma, Roel M W J
  • Bovenberg, A Lans

The paper explores the case for monetary and fiscal unification. Monetary policy suffers from an inflation bias because the monetary authorities are not able to commit. With international risk-sharing, fiscal discipline suffers from moral hazard. An inflation target alleviates the inflation bias but weakens fiscal discipline. In a monetary union, however, this adverse effect on fiscal discipline is weaker. This advantage of monetary unification may outweigh the disadvantage of not being able to employ monetary policy to stabilise country-specific shocks. While monetary unification may thus be optimal, international risk-sharing may be undesirable because it weakens fiscal discipline.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 33 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 179-204

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:33:y:2001:i:2:p:179-204
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Svensson, Lars E O, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
  3. Gordon, Roger H & Bovenberg, A Lans, 1996. "Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally? Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1057-75, December.
  4. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 1562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kletzer, Kenneth M., 1997. "Macroeconomic stabilization with a common currency: Does European Monetary Unification create a need for fiscal insurance of federalism?," ZEI Working Papers B 04-1997, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521496346 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  8. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Lans Bovenberg, A., 1997. "Designing fiscal and monetary institutions in a second-best world," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 53-79, February.
  9. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1997. "Designing fiscal and monetary institutions in a second best world," Other publications TiSEM 9cf95e79-e382-4268-8e4d-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Monetary Cohabitation in Europe," Working Papers 96, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Other publications TiSEM 6a131c21-fd9a-4d83-8d9a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Anne Sibert, 1996. "Monetary Integration and Economic Convergence," Archive Working Papers 030, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  14. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  16. Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 1998. "International risk sharing and European monetary unification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 211-238, August.
  17. Jensen, Henrik, 1994. "Loss of monetary discretion in a simple dynamic policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 763-779.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
  19. Bent E. S�rensen & Oved Yosha, 1998. "International Risk Sharing and European Monetary Unification," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 327, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
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