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Is the Proposed East African Monetary Union an Optimal Currency Area? A Structural Vector Autoregression Analysis

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Abstract

The treaty of 1999 to revive the defunct East African Community (EAC) ratified by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania came into force on July 2000 with the objective of fostering a closer co-operation in political, economic, social, and cultural fields. To achieve this, an East Africa Customs Union protocol was signed in March 2004. A Common Market, a Monetary Union, and ultimately a Political Federation of East Africa states is planned. Though the question of a monetary union has been discussed in the political arena there has been no corresponding empirical study on the economic viability of such a union. This article fills the gap and assesses whether the political force driving the EAC towards a monetary union has economic basis. In particular, we focus on the symmetry of the underlying shocks across the East African economies as a precondition for forming an optimum currency area (OCA). As Mundell (1961) and McKinnon (1963) describe, the member countries of a monetary union do not have independent monetary policy, which differs from that of the union as a whole; governments cannot use monetary and exchange rate policies to react to a country-specific shock. How serious this limitation is for the union countries depends on the degree of asymmetry of shocks and the speed with which the economies adjust to these shocks. If disturbances are distributed symmetrically across union countries, a common response will suffice. If, however, the countries face mostly asymmetric shocks, the retention of policy autonomy is beneficial.

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  • Steven K. Buigut & Neven Valev, 2004. "Is the Proposed East African Monetary Union an Optimal Currency Area? A Structural Vector Autoregression Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0407, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0407
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    Cited by:

    1. Buigut, Steven & Valev, Neven T., 2009. "Benefits from Mutual Restraint in a Multilateral Monetary Union," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 585-594, March.
    2. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "Are proposed African monetary unions optimal currency areas? Real, monetary and fiscal policy convergence analysis," African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 9-29, April.
    3. Tsangarides, Charalambos G. & Qureshi, Mahvash Saeed, 2008. "Monetary Union Membership in West Africa: A Cluster Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1261-1279, July.
    4. Gammadigbé, Vigninou, 2012. "Les cycles économiques des pays de l'UEMOA: synchrones ou déconnectés?
      [Business cycles in the WAEMU countries: synchronous or disconnected?]
      ," MPRA Paper 39400, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.
    5. Simplice Asongu, 2014. "How Would Monetary Policy Matter In The Proposed African Monetary Unions? Evidence From Output And Prices," The African Finance Journal, Africagrowth Institute, vol. 16(2), pages 34-63.
    6. Carcel Hector & Gil-Alana Luis A. & Madigu Godfrey, 2015. "Inflation Convergence in the East African Community: A Fractional Integration and Cointegration Study," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 507-524, December.
    7. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta & Tchamyou, Vanessa, 2017. "A summary of a survey on proposed African monetary unions," MPRA Paper 79637, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Luis Alberiko Gil-Alaña & Borja Balprad & Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Hector Carcel, 2015. "Exchange Rate Dynamics and Monetary Unions in Africa: A Fractional Integration and Cointegration Analysis," NCID Working Papers 11/2015, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    9. Laetitia Lepetit & Clovis Rugemintwari & Frank Strobel, 2015. "Monetary, Financial and Fiscal Stability in the East African Community: Ready for a Monetary Union?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(8), pages 1179-1204, August.
    10. Qureshi, Mahvash Saeed & Tsangarides, Charalambos G., 2012. "Hard or Soft Pegs? Choice of Exchange Rate Regime and Trade in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 667-680.
    11. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta Nwachukwu & Vanessa Tchamyou, 2017. "A Literature Survey On Proposed African Monetary Unions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 878-902, July.
    12. Regmi, Krishna & Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Alex & Thornton, Robert, 2015. "To be or not to be: An optimum currency area for South Asia?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 930-944.
    13. Aamer S. Abu-Qarn & Suleiman Abu-Bader, 2008. "On the Optimality of a GCC Monetary Union: Structural VAR, Common Trends, and Common Cycles Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 612-630, May.
    14. Chuku, Chuku, 2012. "The proposed eco: should West Africa proceed with a common currency?," MPRA Paper 43739, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2009. "Alternative reconsideration of output growth differrential for the West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 13416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An Empirical Test of Trade Gravity Model Criteria for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," MPRA Paper 7083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. William Miles, 2015. "The East African Monetary Union: Is the Level of Business Cycle Synchronization Sufficient?," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 2(4), pages 115-125, November.
    18. Simplice A Asongu, 2013. "A Short-run Schumpeterian Trip to Embryonic African Monetary Zones," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 859-873.
    19. Asongu Simplice, 2012. "Are Proposed African Monetary Unions Optimal Currency Areas? Real and Monetary Policy Convergence Analysis," Working Papers 12/005, African Governance and Development Institute..
    20. Durevall, Dick, 2011. "East African Community: Pre-conditions for an Effective Monetary Union," Working Papers in Economics 520, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    21. Motelle, Sephooko & Biekpe, Nicholas, 2015. "Financial integration and stability in the Southern African development community," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 100-117.
    22. Dridi, Jemma & Nguyen, Anh D. M., 2017. "Inflation Convergence In East African Countries," MPRA Paper 80393, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Thomas Kigabo RUSUHUZWA & Paul Robert MASSON, 2012. "Design and Implementation of a Common Currency Area in the East African Community," Working Papers tecipa-451, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    East African; Monetary Union; Optimal Currency Area; Structural Vector Autoregression Analysis;

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