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A Modern Reconsideration of the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas

Listed author(s):
  • Giancarlo Corsetti

What can be learnt from revisiting the Optimal Currency Areas (OCA) theory 50 years from its birth, in light of recent advances in open economy macro and monetary theory? This paper presents a stylized micro-founded model of the costs of adopting a common currency, relative to an ideal benchmark in which domestic monetary authorities pursue country-specific efficient stabilization. Costs from (a) limiting monetary autonomy and (b) giving up exchange rate flexibility are examined in turn. These costs will generally be of the same magnitude as the costs of the business cycle. However, to the extent that exchange rates do not perform the stabilizing role envisioned by traditional OCA theory, a common monetary policy can be as efficient as nationally differentiated policies, even when shocks are strongly asymmetric, provided that the composition of aggregate spending tends to be symmetric at union-wide level. Convergence in consumption (and spending) patterns thus emerges as a possible novel attribute of countries participating in an efficient currency area.

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File URL: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/pages/publication12229_en.pdf
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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 with number 308.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0308
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "Global Implications of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 503-535.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2002. "Macroeconomics of international price discrimination," Working Paper Series 0176, European Central Bank.
  3. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibility," Working Papers 042000, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  4. Adão, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2001. "Gaps and Triangles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Alan Sutherland, 2002. "International monetary policy coordination and financial market integration," International Finance Discussion Papers 751, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2007. "Optimal Monetary Policy and the Sources of Local-Currency Price Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 6557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," CEPR Discussion Papers 1131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Adao, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2009. "On the relevance of exchange rate regimes for stabilization policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1468-1488, July.
  10. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 2002. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a micro-founded model of a monetary union," Working Paper Series 0166, European Central Bank.
  11. Giancarlo Corsetti & Philippe Martin & Paolo A. Pesenti, 2005. "Productivity Spillovers, Terms of Trade and the "Home Market Effect"," NBER Working Papers 11165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Frank Verboven, 2001. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 811-848.
  13. Adão, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Single Instrument Feedback Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Giancarlo Corsetti, 2005. "Openness and the case for flexible exchange rates," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/21, European University Institute.
  15. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  16. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2004. "Asymmetric Shocks and Risk Sharing in a Monetary Union: Updated Evidence and Policy Implications for Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 4463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  19. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 2755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  21. 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.
  22. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  23. Duarte, Margarida & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2008. "Monetary policy in the open economy revisited: The case for exchange-rate flexibility restored," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 949-957, October.
  24. Willem H. Buiter, 2000. "Optimal currency areas: why does the exchange rate regime matter? (with an application to UK membership in EMU)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20178, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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