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The Macroeconomic Costs and Benefits of the EMU and other Monetary Unions: An Overview of Recent Research

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  • Beetsma, Roel
  • Giuliodori, Massimo

Abstract

This article provides an overview of recent research into the macroeconomic costs and benefits of monetary unification. We are primarily interested in Europe’s monetary union. Given that unification entails the loss of a policy instrument its potential benefits have to be found elsewhere. Unification may serve as a vehicle for beneficial institutional changes. In particular, it may be a route towards an independent monetary policy, which alleviates the scope for political pressure to relax monetary policy. Unification also eliminates harmful monetary policy spill-overs and competitive devaluations. We explore how disagreement between the monetary and fiscal authorities about their policy objectives can lead to extreme macroeconomic outcomes. Further, we pay considerable attention to the desirability (or not) of fiscal constraints and fiscal coordination in a monetary union. Monetary commitment and fiscal free-riding play a key role in this regard. Similar free-riding issues also feature prominently in the analysis of how unification influences structural reforms. We end with a brief discussion of monetary unification outside Europe. The cost-benefit trade-off of unification may differ substantially between industrialized and less-developed countries, where differences in fiscal needs and, hence, the reliance on seigniorage revenues may dominate the scope for unification.

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  • Beetsma, Roel & Giuliodori, Massimo, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Costs and Benefits of the EMU and other Monetary Unions: An Overview of Recent Research," CEPR Discussion Papers 7500, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7500
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credibility; EMU; euro; exchange rates; fiscal constraints; fiscal policy; structural reforms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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