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Monetary Union in West Africa; Who Might Gain, Who Might Lose, and Why?

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  • Paul R Masson
  • Xavier Debrun
  • Catherine A Pattillo

Abstract

We develop a multicountry model in which governments aim at excessive spending in order to serve the narrow interests of the group in power. This puts pressure on the monetary authorities to extract seigniorage, and thus affects the incentives countries would have to participate in a monetary union. This feature, ignored by the monetary union literature for Europe, is potentially important in Africa. We calibrate the model to data for West Africa and use it to assess proposed ECOWAS monetary unions. We conclude that monetary union with Nigeria would not be in the interests of other ECOWAS countries, unless it were accompanied by effective discipline over Nigeria's fiscal policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul R Masson & Xavier Debrun & Catherine A Pattillo, 2002. "Monetary Union in West Africa; Who Might Gain, Who Might Lose, and Why?," IMF Working Papers 02/226, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/226
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Central banks and their policies; Africa; Fiscal policy; Monetary unions; West Africa; Monetary union; fiscal distortions; inflation; monetary policy; terms of trade; International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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