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Self-validating optimum currency areas

Listed author(s):
  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Paolo Pesenti

A currency area can be a self-validating optimal policy regime, even when monetary unification does not foster real economic integration and intra-industry trade. In our model, firms choose the optimal degree of exchange rate pass-through to export prices while accounting for expected monetary policies, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules while taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, each of which defines a self-validating currency regime. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency and let prices in foreign currency be determined by the law of one price. Optimal policy rules then target the domestic output gap, and floating exchange rates support the flex-price allocation. In the second equilibrium, firms preset prices in consumer currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although a common currency helps synchronize business cycles across countries, flexible exchange rates deliver a superior welfare outcome.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 152.

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Date of creation: 2002
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:152
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  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International dimensions of optimal monetary policy," Staff Reports 124, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
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  10. 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.
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  14. Jacques Mélitz, 1996. "The theory of optimum currency areas, trade adjustment, and trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 99-116, April.
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  16. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
  17. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  18. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6ks1k831, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  19. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
  20. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-1189, September.
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