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Risk Sharing and the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas: A Re-examination of Mundell 1973


  • Stephen Ching

    (City University of Hong Kong)

  • Michael B. Devereux

    (University of British Columbia)


Mundell (1973) argues that a common currency area provides benefits for its members by offering insurance against region-specific shocks. We develop a simple model to analyse the nature of risksharing benefits of a single currency area for emerging market economies, based on Mundell's hypothesis. An important pre-requisite for the risk-sharing benefits of a single currency is that there be limited trade among countries in national-currency denominated bonds. The evidence for emerging markets supports this assumption. In this case, we show that a single currency area may support risk sharing that could not be achieved under floating exchange rates. Based on a simple quantitative evaluation of our model, we show that the implied risk sharing can be substantial.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Ching & Michael B. Devereux, 2000. "Risk Sharing and the Theory of Optimal Currency Areas: A Re-examination of Mundell 1973," Working Papers 082000, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:082000

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1989. "Exchange rate variability and asset trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 485-509, May.
    3. Tesar, Linda L., 1995. "Evaluating the gains from international risksharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-143, June.
    4. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-890, October.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry & Bayoumi, Tamim, 1996. "Is Asia an Optimum Currency Area? Can It Become One? Regional, Global and Historical Perspectives on Asian Monetary Relations," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt1td5x343, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Celentani & J. Conde-Ruiz & Klaus Desmet, 2007. "Inflation in Open Economies with Complete Markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(2), pages 271-291, May.
    2. Klaus Desmet, 2002. "Asymmetric Shocks, Risk Sharing, and the Latter Mundell," Working Papers 0222, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Lahiri, Amartya & Singh, Rajesh & Vegh, Carlos, 2007. "Segmented asset markets and optimal exchange rate regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-21, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


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