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Self-Validating Optimum Currency Areas

  • Corsetti, Giancarlo
  • Pesenti, Paolo

In this Paper we show that a currency area can be a self-validating optimal policy regime, even when monetary unification does not foster real economic integration and intra-industry trade. This is because profit-maximizing producers in a currency area adopt endogenous pricing strategies that make exchange rate fluctuations highly costly in welfare terms. In our model exporters choose the degree of exchange rate pass-through onto export prices given monetary policy rules, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, which define two self-validating currency regimes. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency only, and let foreign-currency prices to be determined by the law of one price. Optimal policy rules then target the domestic output gap and floating exchange rates support the flex-price allocation. In the second equilibrium firms optimally preset prices in local currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although business cycles are more synchronized with a common currency, flexible exchange rates are superior in terms of welfare.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3220.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3220
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  1. Andrew K. Rose & Charles Engel, 2000. "Currency Unions and International Integration," NBER Working Papers 7872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
  3. Bacchetta, Philippe & Van Wincoop, Eric, 2002. "A theory of the currency denomination of international trade," Working Paper Series 0177, European Central Bank.
  4. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibiity," Working Papers 0016, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  5. Devereux, Michael B & Engel, Charles M, 2000. "Monetary Policy In The Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting Rules And Exchange Rate Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barro, Robert & Alesina, Alberto, 2002. "Currency Unions," Scholarly Articles 4551795, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jacques Mélitz, 1996. "The theory of optimum currency areas, trade adjustment, and trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 99-116, April.
  9. 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.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  11. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  12. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
  13. Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Economics Working Papers 90-132, University of California at Berkeley.
  14. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-89, September.
  15. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2003. "Global Implications of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," Macroeconomics 0303018, EconWPA.
  17. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  18. Bayoumi, T. & Eichengreen, B., 1994. "One Money or Many? Analysing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Princeton Studies in International Economics 76, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "New directions for stochastic open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 117-153, February.
  20. Neumeyer, Pablo Andres, 1998. "Currencies and the Allocation of Risk: The Welfare Effects of a Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 246-59, March.
  21. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2001. "Endogenous Currency of Price Setting in a Dynamic Open Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 8559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "Do We Really Need a New International Monetary Compact?," NBER Working Papers 7864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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