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The Cost of Heterogeneity in a Monetary Union


  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew
  • Weymark, Diana


In this Paper, we explore whether heterogeneity among union members could threaten the stability of the EMU. The types of heterogeneity we consider are (1) asymmetries in the transmission of monetary and fiscal policies, and (2) differences in national preferences for price stability, output growth, and income redistribution. Our results show that the costs of membership are cumulative and can be significant for countries whose structure and/or preferences deviate from those underlying the common monetary policy. In part, these costs arise because monetary policy imposed by an independent central bank automatically constrains the use of fiscal policy by national governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana, 2002. "The Cost of Heterogeneity in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3223

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fahrholz Christian & Freytag Andreas, 2014. "Finanzpolitik in Europa zwischen Subsidiarität und Vergemeinschaftung: Eine ordnungsökonomische Analyse / Between subsidiarity and Europeanization: An ordo-liberal perspective on financial policy," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 99-116, January.
    2. Alexandra Lopes, 2006. "The Costs of EMU for Transition Countries," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 149, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2005. "Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics and Central Bank Design," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, February.
    4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana N., 2004. "Independent monetary policies and social equity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 103-110, October.
    5. David Sondermann, 2014. "Productivity in the euro area: any evidence of convergence?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 999-1027, November.
    6. Diana N. Weymark, 2001. "Inflation, Income Redistribution, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0102, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    7. Belhadj, Aam, 2009. "Heterogeneity of the Maghreb: the results of optimized monetary rules," MPRA Paper 40374, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Robert-Paul Berben & Jan Marc Berk, 2002. "Requirements for successful currency regimes: the Dutch and Thai experiences," MEB Series (discontinued) 2002-16, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
    9. Andre, Nyembwe, 2003. "Monetary Policy, Credibility and Asymmetries : Small African Countries and the EMU Advent," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 06 Aug 2002.
    10. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2002. "Policy Games and the Optimal Design of Central Banks," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0220, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    11. Kwanho Shin & Yunjong Wang, 2003. "Monetary Integration Ahead of Trade Integration in East Asia?," ISER Discussion Paper 0572, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    12. Schalck, Christophe, 2012. "Investigating heterogeneity in European fiscal behaviours," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 383-390.
    13. Diana N. Weymark, 2005. "Inflation, Government Transfers, and Optimal Central Bank Independence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0502, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    central bank independence; currency union; emu; preference asymmetries; transmission asymmetries;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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