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The EMS, the EMU, and the Transition to a Common Currency

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6

  • Kenneth A. Froot
  • Kenneth Rogoff

When central banks are about to relinquish control over their exchange rate and enter into a currency union, the reptutational costs to devaluation are very low. As with any finite-horizon game, the endpoint affects the earlier expectations of private agents, here causing them to demand higher interest rates and higher wages from countries whose currencies are relatively weak. In looking at the countries within the EMS, we find that Italian long-term interest rates as well as price and wages levels relative to Germany show evidence of growing gaps We also find that the real appreciation of the lira appears to be predominantly due to increases in relative Italian government spending, and not to relatively rapid Italian productivity growth. Taken together, this evidence suggests that convergence within the EMS may have peaked. Furthermore, moving forward the date of currency union may in the short run increase both the growth of the gaps and the need for exchange-rate realignment.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1991. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan91-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10985.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10985
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1984. "Can exchange rate predictability be achieved without monetary convergence? : evidence from the EMS," International Finance Discussion Papers 245, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1991. "Tastes and technology in a two-country model of the business cycle: explaining international co-movements," Working Paper 9019, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Svensson, Lars E O, 1991. "The Simplest Test of Target Zone Credibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Meese, Richard A & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1988. " Was It Real? The Exchange Rate-Interest Differential Relation over the Modern Floating-Rate Period," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(4), pages 933-48, September.
    8. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
    9. Marianne Baxter & Alan C. Stockman, 1988. "Business Cycles and the Exchange Rate System: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    11. Alberto Giovannini, 1990. "European Monetary Reform: Progress and Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 217-292.
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