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What does European institutional integration tell us about trade integration?

  • Francesco Paolo Mongelli
  • Ettore Dorrucci
  • Itai Agur

The start of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has spurred a new interest in the debate on the effects of monetary unions on regional economic integration. This literature either investigates past episodes of monetary unions or attempts to gauge any effect with a few years of EMU data. This paper takes instead a more general perspective - it investigates the link between economic integration and the overall institutional process of regional integration in Europe – of which monetary integration was only one step – over the last 50 years. We look mainly at two dimensions - European institutional integration – whose main steps were the customs union in 1968, the single market in 1993 and the single currency in 1999 – and intra-European trade. We pay special attention to the successive EU enlargements which took place in 1973, 1981, 1986, and 1995. Different facets of openness and trade linkages are presented. After looking at some descriptive links between institutional and trade integration, the paper uses some causality tests to assess the direction of causality and magnitude of impact. The evidence provided is consistent with the idea that the interaction between regional institutional and trade integration before monetary union matters. Such interaction runs in both directions, although the link from institutional to trade integration dominates. Many open questions remain, however.

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 40.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20050040
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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
  2. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo, 2002. ""New" views on the optimum currency area theory: what is EMU telling us?," Working Paper Series 0138, European Central Bank.
  3. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
  5. Laird, Sam, 1997. "MERCOSUR: Objectives and achievements," WTO Staff Working Papers TPRD-97-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  6. Kenen, Peter B & Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Measuring and Analyzing the Effects of Short-term Volatility in Real Exchange Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 311-15, May.
  7. Francesco Paolo Mongelli, 2005. "What is European Economic and Monetary Union Telling us About the Properties of Optimum Currency Areas?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 607-635, 09.
  8. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501, July.
  9. Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: the effect is large," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 449-461, October.
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