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

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Listed:
  • Mr. Paul R Masson
  • Ms. Catherine A Pattillo
  • Mr. Xavier Debrun

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

  • Mr. Paul R Masson & Ms. Catherine A Pattillo & Mr. Xavier Debrun, 2002. "Monetary Union in West Africa: Who Might Gain, Who Might Lose, and Why?," IMF Working Papers 2002/226, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2002/226
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; government spending; monetary policy; Monetary union; West Africa; Africa; fiscal distortions; WAEMU country; ECOWAS monetary union; ECOWAS country; WAEMU member states; WAEMU monetary union; Monetary unions; Inflation; Terms of trade; Currencies;
    All these keywords.

    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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