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The Theory of Optimum Currency Areas, Trade Adjustment and Trade

  • Melitz, Jacques

This paper seeks to integrate more closely the theory of optimum currency areas with the theory of international trade. The currency area is considered as a continuous variable ranging from zero to one: zero if there is no enlargement, and some positive value otherwise, corresponding exactly to the percentage of trade in the enlarged area. The benefits of widening a currency area are then treated in the same way as a reduction in transportation costs. The costs of widening a currency area, in turn, are seen as a drop in the speed of adjustment of the terms of trade to their long-run equilibrium level. On this basis it is shown that the marginal benefits of enlarging a currency area fall, the marginal costs rise, and an optimum size arises. This size depends heavily on the optimal composition of the members, however.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 847.

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Date of creation: Oct 1993
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:847
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  1. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  2. Cohen, Daniel & Wyplosz, Charles, 1989. "The European Monetary Union: An Agnostic Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," Economics Working Papers 92-187, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Melitz, Jacques, 1991. "A Suggested Reformulation of the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of Monetary Unification," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt791143kp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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