IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Price of EMU Revisited


  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew
  • Minford, Patrick
  • Rastogi, Anupam


Using the recent EC Commission report `One Market, One Money' as a point of reference, we consider the merits of a single currency in Europe. The main benefit is the reduction in transaction costs, which the report estimates at 0.4% of European Community (EC) GDP (but much less in countries with sophisticated financial systems). A weak case is made for other benefits. The principal potential cost, and the main concern of this paper, arises from macroeconomic instability, the stochastic equivalent of the problems stressed in the traditionally Keynesian literature on `optimal currency areas'. Since the EC has a low level of labour mobility, a negligible fiscal offset to national shocks, and a fair degree of short-run nominal rigidity in wages and prices, one would expect that under European Monetary Union (EMU) the loss of the exchange rate as a stabilizing mechanism would be damaging. This duly emerges from our stochastic simulations of both the world and the UK Liverpool models. Our multilateral world simulations reveal that, under both fixed money supply rules and strategically responsive monetary policy, floating is superior to EMU for all countries, and that even if the rest of the Community proceeds with EMU, the UK is better off outside it. This latter conclusion is reinforced in the exercise on the more refined UK quarterly model. We examine critically the EC's stochastic simulation exercise using the IMF Multimod world model. The simulations yield a positive result for EMU by inserting shocks in risk premia into the Uncovered Interest Parity relationships and removing these between EC currencies under EMU. This approach is, we argue, internally inconsistent and econometrically flawed. Additionally, the EC simulations are based on asymmetric assumptions about monetary policy under floating and EMU. As a result, the comparison between floating and EMU is seriously biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Minford, Patrick & Rastogi, Anupam, 1992. "The Price of EMU Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:656

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feenstra, R.C. & Rose, A.K., 1992. "Trade with Mexico and Water Use in California Agriculture," Papers 399, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    2. Paul Krugman, 1982. "Trade in Differentiated Products and the Political Economy of Trade Liberalization," NBER Chapters,in: Import Competition and Response, pages 197-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Aaron Tornell, 1991. "Time Inconsistency of Protectionist Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 963-974.
    4. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Protection, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and Income Distribution," NBER Chapters,in: Import Competition and Response, pages 123-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Benoît Mojon & Armand-Denis Schor, 1998. "The International Role of the Euro," Working Papers 1998-03, CEPII research center.
    2. Buiter, Willem H., 2000. "Optimal Currency Areas: Why Does The Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. Silvia Sgherri, 2002. "The fiscal dimension of a common monetary policy: results with a non-Ricardian global model," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 449-479.
    5. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Benoît Mojon & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 1997. "The Euro and Exchange Rate Stability," Working Papers 1997-12, CEPII research center.
    6. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Bok, Tomas, 2001. "The European Monetary Union: were there alternatives to the ECB?: A quantitative evaluation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 775-806, October.
    7. Qin, Duo & Tan, Tao, 2009. "How much intraregional exchange rate variability could a currency union remove? The case of ASEAN+3," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1793-1803, October.
    8. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Benoît Mojon, 1998. "EMU and Transatlantic Exchange Rate Stability," Working Papers 1998-02, CEPII research center.
    9. S. Sgherri, 2000. "When is labour market flexibility welcome? More on asymmetric policy impacts in Europe," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 619, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item


    Cooperation; EMU; Floating; Instability; Monetary Regimes; Optimal Currency Area; United Kingdom;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:656. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.