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Monetary Union in West Africa: An Agency of Restraint for Fiscal Policies?

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  • Paul Masson
  • Catherine Pattillo

Abstract

Could a monetary union in West Africa (either an informal monetary union of the non-CFA countries, or a possible future monetary union of all ECOWAS members) be an effective 'agency of restraint' (Collier, 1991) on fiscal policies? We discuss the ways, both positive and negative, that monetary union could affect fiscal discipline and the arguments for explicit fiscal restraints considered in the literature about the European Monetary Union (EMU), and consider their applicability to West Africa. The empirical evidence, EMU literature and CFA experience all suggest the possibility that monetary union could create the temptation for fiscal profligacy through prospects of a bail-out, or costs that are diluted through the membership. We conclude that a monetary union in West Africa can be an effective agency of restraint on fiscal policies only if the hands of the fiscal authorities are also tied by a strong set of fiscal restraint criteria, applicable not just for accession to monetary union, but throughout the life of the union. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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  • Paul Masson & Catherine Pattillo, 2002. "Monetary Union in West Africa: An Agency of Restraint for Fiscal Policies?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(3), pages 387-412, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:11:y:2002:i:3:p:387-412
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    Cited by:

    1. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An alternative reconsideration of macroeconomic convergence criteria for West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 11367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ian Lienert, 2003. "A Comparison Between Two Public Expenditure Management Systems in Africa," IMF Working Papers 03/2, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2009. "Inflation differential in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) area:Implications for unionization," MPRA Paper 13045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2009. "Alternative reconsideration of output growth differrential for the West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 13416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Jan Libich & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Petr Stehlik, 2007. "Monetary And Fiscal Policy Interaction With Various Degrees And Types Of Commitment," CAMA Working Papers 2007-21, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    6. Charalambos Tsangarides & Pierre Ewenczyk & Michal Hulej & Mahvash Saeed Qureshi, 2009. "Are Africa's Currency Unions Good for Trade?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(4), pages 876-918, November.
    7. Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA, 2009. "Union Monétaire en Afrique de l’Ouest: Quelles Réponses à l’Hétérogénéité des Chocs ?," Working Papers 200912, CERDI.
    8. Anthony J. Pellechio & Saqib Rizavi & Phebby Kufa, 2003. "Fiscal Sustainability and Policy Issues in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union," IMF Working Papers 03/162, International Monetary Fund.
    9. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:12:y:2007:i:4:p:504-521 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. André, NYEMBWE & Konstantin, KHOLODILIN, 2005. "North-South Asymmetric Relationships : Does the EMU Business Affect Small African Economies ?," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005032, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    11. Sampawende Jules Tapsoba, 2011. "Union Monétaire en Afrique de l'Ouest: Quelles Réponses à l'Hétérogénéité des Chocs ?," Working Papers halshs-00554309, HAL.
    12. Chantal Dupasquier & Patrick N. Osakwe & Shandre M. Thangavelu, 2005. "Choice of Monetary and Exchange Regimes in ECOWAS: An Optimum Currency Area Analysis," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0510, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
    13. Kohnert, Dirk, 2005. "African Monetary Unions - Dominated by the North? On the Relevance of Rational Economic Reasoning Under African Conditions," MPRA Paper 82083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Dorothy Engmann & Ousmane Dore & Benoít Anne, 2003. "Regional Impact of Cote D'Ivoire'S Sociopolitical Crisis; An Assessment," IMF Working Papers 03/85, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Etienne B Yehoue, 2007. "The CFA Arrangements; More than Just An Aid Substitute?," IMF Working Papers 07/19, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Andre, Nyembwe, 2003. "Monetary Policy, Credibility and Asymmetries : Small African Countries and the EMU Advent," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 06 Aug 2002.
    17. Jean-Louis Combes & Xavier Debrun & Alexandru Minea & Rene Tapsoba, 2014. "Inflation Targeting and Fiscal Rules; Do Interactions and Sequencing Matter?," IMF Working Papers 14/89, International Monetary Fund.

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