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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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. Jean‐Louis Combes & Xavier Debrun & Alexandru Minea & René Tapsoba, 2018. "Inflation Targeting, Fiscal Rules and the Policy Mix: Cross‐effects and Interactions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(615), pages 2755-2784, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA, 2009. "Union Monétaire en Afrique de l’Ouest: Quelles Réponses à l’Hétérogénéité des Chocs ?," Working Papers 200912, CERDI.
    4. Sampawende Jules Tapsoba, 2011. "Union Monétaire en Afrique de l'Ouest: Quelles Réponses à l'Hétérogénéité des Chocs ?," Working Papers halshs-00554309, HAL.
    5. 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.
    6. E D Balogun, 2010. "Alternative reconsideration of output growth differential for West African Monetary Zone," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.),Proceedings of the SARB/IFC seminar on "Economic and financial convergence en route to regional economic integration: experience, prospects and statis, volume 32, pages 106-120, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Agnès Bénassy‐Quéré & Maylis Coupet, 2005. "On the Adequacy of Monetary Arrangements in Sub‐Saharan Africa," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 349-373, March.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Paweł Młodkowski, 2006. "Konwergencja fiskalna w uniach walutowych w Afryce na tle rozwiązań europejskich," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1-2, pages 19-36.
    11. 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.
    12. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An alternative reconsideration of macroeconomic convergence criteria for West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 11367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Ian Lienert, 2003. "A Comparison Between Two Public Expenditure Management Systems in Africa," IMF Working Papers 03/2, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Etienne B Yehoue, 2007. "The CFA Arrangements; More than Just An Aid Substitute?," IMF Working Papers 07/19, International Monetary Fund.

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