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Regional Monetary Units for East Asia: Lessons from Europe

  • Girardin Eric
  • Steinherr Alfred

This paper reports the European experience with a basket currency, the ECU. The ECU was initially introduced as a reference unit and later became the anchor of the European Monetary System. Public policy was complemented by private sector initiatives and use of the ECU for denomination of financial instruments. In practice, it turned out that a basket currency entails considerable unexpected technical complexities. There are no iron-clad economic principles and therefore there is some room for political considerations. In Europe three criteria were used for determining the weights: GDP shares, international trade shares, and financial market indicators. In addition, weights will change with exchange rate movements. Appreciating currencies will experience increasing weights and depreciating currencies decreasing weights. This may require a correction mechanism for political acceptability. In Europe, weights were rescaled by political authorities every five years. From an economic view point, weights depend critically on the purpose of the basket currency: is it a reference indicator, is it a currency for international transactions, or is it a parallel currency? Thus, before weights are to be discussed a clear vision of the role of the basket currency would be desirable. The vastly different growth performance among Asian economies also suggests a preference to forward rather than backward-looking measure. Turning then to the different functions of a basket currency, the use of basket currencies as a divergence indicator, or as a financial instrument in regional financial markets before elaborating a road map for the development of a basket currency in Asia is examined.[ DP 116]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:1972.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:1972
Note: Institutional Papers
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  1. Clifford R Dammers & Robert N McCauley, 2006. "Basket weaving: the euromarket experience with basket currency bonds," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  2. Barry Eichengreen & Pipat Luengnaruemitchai, 2006. "Why doesn’t Asia have bigger bond markets?," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Asian bond markets: issues and prospects, volume 30, pages 40-77 Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Steinherr, Alfred & Cisotta, Alessandro & Klar, Erik & Sehovic, Kenan, 2006. "Liberalizing Cross-Border Capital Flows: How Effective Are Institutional Arrangements against Crisis in Southeast Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 6, Asian Development Bank.
  4. Haruhiko Kuroda & Masahiro Kawai, 2002. "Strengthening Regional Financial Cooperation in East Asia," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 332, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  5. Eric Girardin, 2004. "Regime-Dependent Synchronization of Growth Cycles between Japan and East Asia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(3), pages 147-176.
  6. Masahiro Kawai & Shinji Takagi, 2005. "Strategy for a Regional Exchange Rate Arrangement in East Asia: Analysis, Review and Proposal," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 21-64.
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