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An Optimum-Currency-Area Odyssey

  • Harris Dellas

    (University of Bern)

  • George S.Tavlas

    ()

    (Bank of Greece)

The theory of optimum-currency-areas was conceived and developed in three highly influential papers, written by Mundell (1961), McKinnon (1963) and Kenen (1969). Those authors identified characteristics that potential members of a monetary union should ideally possess in order to make it feasible to surrender a nationally- tailored monetary policy and the adjustment of an exchange rate of a national currency. We trace the development of optimum currency- area theory, which, after a flurry of research into the subject in the 1960s, was relegated to intellectual purgatory for about 20 years. We then discuss factors that led to a renewed interest into the subject, beginning in the early 1990s. Milton Friedman plays a pivotal role in our narrative; Friedman’s work on monetary integration in the early 1950s presaged subsequent optimum-currency-area contributions; Mundell’s classic formulation of an optimal currency area was aimed, in part, at refuting Friedman’s ‘‘strong’’ case for floating exchange rates; and Friedman’s work on the role of monetary policy had the effect of helping to revive interest in optimum-currency-area analysis. The paper concludes with a discussion of recent analytical work, using New Keynesian models, which has the promise of fulfilling the unfinished agenda set-out by the original contributors to the optimum-currency-area literature, that is, providing a consistent framework in which a country’s characteristics can be used to determine its optimal exchange-rate regime

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Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 102.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:102
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bankofgreece.gr

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  1. Filippo Cesarano, 2006. "The Origins of the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 711-731, Winter.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  4. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibiity," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0016, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  5. William Poole, 1969. "Optimal choice of monetary policy instruments in a simple stochastic macro model," Special Studies Papers 2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  8. W.H. Buiter, 2000. "Optimal Currency Areas: Why Does the Exchange Rate Regime Matter? (With an Application to UK Membership in EMU)," CEP Discussion Papers dp0462, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C99-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Kollmann, Robert, 2002. "Monetary policy rules in the open economy: effects on welfare and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 989-1015, July.
  11. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. ""New" views on the optimum currency area theory: what is EMU telling us?," Working Paper Series 0138, European Central Bank.
  12. Jürgen Kröger & Denis Redonnet, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Economic Integration: The Case of the Accession Countries," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(2), pages 6-13, October.
  13. Frederick Guy & Neil Perry & Andrei Shleifer & Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman & Barbara R. Bergmann & David Laidler & George S. Tavlas, 1999. "Correspondence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 235-242, Summer.
  14. Gianluca Benigno & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2003. "Price Stability in Open Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 743-764.
  15. Duarte, Margarida, 2003. "Why don't macroeconomic quantities respond to exchange rate variability?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 889-913, May.
  16. Lee E. Ohanian & Alan C. Stockman, 1997. "Short-run independence of monetary policy under pegged exchange rates and effects of money on exchange rates and interest rates," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 783-814.
  17. 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.
  18. Francesco Paolo Mongelli, 2005. "What is European Economic and Monetary Union Telling us About the Properties of Optimum Currency Areas?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 607-635, 09.
  19. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  20. Paul de Grauwe & Francesco Paolo Mongelli, 2005. "Endogeneities of Optimum Currency Areas: What brings Countries Sharing a Single Currency Closer together?," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 29, Departamento de Economia, Gestão e Engenharia Industrial, Universidade de Aveiro.
  21. Harris Dellas & George Tavlas, 2005. "Wage Rigidity and Monetary Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 907-927, October.
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  23. Dellas, Harris, 2006. "Monetary policy in open economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1471-1486, August.
  24. Pappa, Evi, 2004. "Do the ECB and the fed really need to cooperate? Optimal monetary policy in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 753-779, May.
  25. Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar & Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2008. "Will Business Cycles In The Euro Area Converge? A Critical Survey Of Empirical Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 234-273, 04.
  26. George Tavlas & Harris Dellas & Alan Stockman, 2008. "The Classification and Perfomance of Alternative Exchange-Rate Systems," Working Papers 90, Bank of Greece.
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  28. Friedman, Milton, 1969. "Round Table on Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 364-66, May.
  29. Stockman, Alan C., 1999. "Choosing an exchange-rate system," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1483-1498, October.
  30. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2004. "European product market integration after the euro," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 347-384, 07.
  31. Herbert Giersch, 1973. "On the desirable degree of flexibility of exchange rates," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 109(2), pages 191-213, June.
  32. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
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