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Self-validating optimum currency areas

  • 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
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:152
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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. Rose, Andrew K & Engel, Charles, 2002. "Currency Unions and International Integration," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1067-89, November.
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  4. Melitz, Jacques, 1993. "The Theory of Optimum Currency Areas, Trade Adjustment and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 847, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2001. "Endogenous Currency of Price Setting in a Dynamic Open Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 8559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1997. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 6307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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