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Monetary Unions, External Shocks and Economic Performance: A Latin American Perspective

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  • Sebastian Edwards

    (University of California, Los Angeles and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Abstract

During the last few years there has been a renewed analysis in currency unions as a form of monetary arrangement. This new interest has been largely triggered by the Euro experience. Scholars and policy makers have asked about the optimal number of currencies in the world economy. They have analyzed whether different countries satisfy the traditional “optimal currency area” criteria. These include: (a) the synchronization of the business cycle; (b) the degree of factor mobility; and (c) the extent of trade and financial integration. In this paper I analyze the desirability of a monetary union from a Latin American perspective. First, I review the existing literature on the subject. Second, I use a large data set to analyze the evidence on economic performance in currency union countries. I investigate these countries’ performance on four dimensions: (a) whether countries without a national currency have a lower occurrence of “sudden stop” episodes; (b) whether they have a lower occurrence of “current account reversal” episodes; (c) what is their ability to absorb international terms of trade shocks; and (d) what is their ability to absorb “sudden stops” and “current account reversals” shocks. I find that belonging to a currency union does not lower the probability of facing a sudden stop or a current account reversal. I also find that external shocks are amplified in currency union countries. The degree of amplification is particularly large when compared to flexible exchange rate countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Edwards, 2006. "Monetary Unions, External Shocks and Economic Performance: A Latin American Perspective," Working Papers 43, Bank of Greece.
  • Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:43
    Note: On February 24-25, 2006 an international workshop on “Regional and International Currency Arrangements” was held in Vienna. It was co-sponsored by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Bank of Greece, and jointly organized by Eduard Hochreiter and George Tavlas. Academic economists and researchers from central banks and international organizations presented and discussed current research, and reviewed and assessed the past experience with, and the future challenges of, international currency arrangements. A number of papers and the contributions by the discussants presented at this workshop are being made available to a broader audience in the Working Paper series of the Bank of Greece and simultaneously also in the Working Paper Series of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. The papers and the discussants’ comments will be published in the journal, International Economics and Economic Policy. Here we present the fifth of these papers. (The previous four were issued as Bank of Greece Working Papers No. 39 to 42.) In addition to the paper by Sebastian Edwards, the Working Paper also contains the contribution of the discussant, Enrique Alberola.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Céline Gimet, 2007. "Le projet d'Union Monétaire dans le Mercosur :Etude de la position actuelle dans les pays par rapport à une carte de critères de soutenabilité," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(2), pages 249-273.
    2. Campa, Jose Manuel & Gavilan, Angel, 2011. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 205-228, February.
    3. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek & Julian Berengaut, 2006. "Beauty Queens and Wallflowers; Currency Unions in the Middle East and Central Asia," IMF Working Papers 06/226, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Gabriela Contreras & Alfredo Pistelli & Mariel Siravegna, 2012. "Determinantes e Impacto de Episodios de Reversión Abrupta de Flujos de Capitales: ¿Es Distinto un Sudden Stop de un Sudden Flight?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 665, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. John Williamson, 2006. "A worldwide system of reference rates," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 341-352, December.
    6. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.
    7. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2008. "Does a Monetary Union protect again foreign shocks? An assessment of Latin American integration using a Bayesian VAR," Post-Print halshs-00269122, HAL.
    8. Tavlas, George & Dellas, Harris & Stockman, Alan C., 2008. "The classification and performance of alternative exchange-rate systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 941-963, August.
    9. Stephen McKnight & Marco Robles Sánchez, 2014. "Is a monetary union feasible for Latin America? Evidence from real effective exchange rates and interest rate pass-through levels," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 29(2), pages 225-262.
    10. Levan Efremidze & Samuel M. Schreyer & Ozan Sula, 2011. "Sudden stops and currency crises," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 304-321, November.
    11. Cohen, Joseph N., 2008. "Managing the Faustian bargain: monetary autonomy in the pursuit of development in Eastern Europe and Latin America," MPRA Paper 22435, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Carlyn Dobson, 2011. "Inflation persistence: Implication for a monetary union in the Caribbean," Working Papers 2011017, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    13. Suliman Zakaria S. Abdalla, 2014. "The Impact of Oil Price Fluctuations on the Sudanese Stock Market Performance," Working Papers 887, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2014.
    14. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2006. "Disentabling business cycles and macroeconomic policy in Mercosur: a VAR and unobserved components model approaches," Post-Print halshs-00262366, HAL.
    15. Aida Caldera Sánchez & Morten Rasmussen & Oliver Röhn, 2016. "Economic Resilience: What Role for Policies?," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(02), pages 1-44, June.
    16. Omotor, Douglason G. & Niringiye, Aggrey, 2011. "Optimum Currency Area and Shock Asymmetry: A Dynamic Analysis of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 71-82, September.
    17. Andrea Gabriela Bonilla Bolaños, 2011. "Symmetry of External Shock responses within the Andean Community of Nations: A SVAR Approach," Working Papers 1140, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    18. Slavov, Slavi T., 2009. "Do common currencies facilitate the net flow of capital among countries?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 124-144, August.
    19. José M. Campa & Ángel Gavilán, 2006. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Working Papers 0638, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    20. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Alain Sand-Zantman, 2009. "Does a Monetary Union protect again shocks? An assessment of Latin American integration," Post-Print halshs-00371069, HAL.
    21. Garcia Rocabado, Daniel, 2010. "The road to monetary union in Latin America: An EMS-type fixed exchange rate system as an intermediate step," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 85, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    22. Barbara Pfeffer, 2008. "Do regional Trade and Specialization drive intra-regional Risk-Sharing?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200813, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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    Keywords

    Regional and International Currency Arrangements;

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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