IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Modern Reconsideration of the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas

  • 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 unionwide level. Convergence in consumption (and spending) patterns thus emerges as a possible novel attribute of countries participating in an efficient currency area.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2008/12.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/12
Contact details of provider: Postal: Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini, 9, 50014 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) Italy
Phone: +39-055-4685.982
Fax: +39-055-4685.902
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:2:p:503-535 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo, 2006. "Openness and the case for flexible exchange rates," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-21, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Adão, Bernardino & Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 2001. "Gaps and Triangles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2001. "Global Implications of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt6412m5b7, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. 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.
  7. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. 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.).
  9. Michael Devereux & Charles Engel, 2000. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange Rate Flexibiity," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0016, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Jensen, Henrik, 2005. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a micro-founded model of a monetary union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 320-352, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 811-48, October.
  14. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Monetary policy with single instrument feedback rules," Working Paper Series WP-04-30, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. 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.
  16. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  17. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," CEPR Discussion Papers 1131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
  20. 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.
  21. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2005. "A macroeconomic model of international price discrimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 129-155, September.
  22. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Horta Correia & Pedro Teles, 2006. "On the Relevance of Exchange Rate Regimes for Stabilization Policy," Working Papers w200616, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  23. W.H. Buiter, 2000. "Optimal Currency Areas: Why Does the Exchange Rate Regime Matter? (With an Application to UK Membership in EMU)," CEP Discussion Papers dp0462, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Banks)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.