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Fiscal Unions

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  • Ivan Werning
  • Emmanuel Farhi

Abstract

We study cross-country risk sharing as a second-best problem for members of a currency union using an open economy model with nominal rigidities and provide two key results. First, we show that if financial markets are incomplete, the value of gaining access to any given level of aggregate risk sharing is greater for countries that are members of a currency union. Second, we show that even if financial markets are complete, privately optimal risk sharing is constrained inefficient. A role emerges for government intervention in risk sharing both to guarantee its existence and to influence its operation. The constrained efficient risk sharing arrangement can be implemented by contingent transfers within a fiscal union. We find that the benefits of such a fiscal union are larger, the more asymmetric the shocks affecting the members of the currency union, the more persistent these shocks, and the less open the member economies. Finally we compare the performance of fiscal unions and of other macroeconomic stabilization instruments available in currency unions such as capital controls, government spending, fiscal deficits, and redistribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivan Werning & Emmanuel Farhi, 2012. "Fiscal Unions," NBER Working Papers 18280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anton Korinek, 2011. "The New Economics of Prudential Capital Controls: A Research Agenda," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(3), pages 523-561, August.
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    7. Sibert, Anne, 1992. "Government finance in a common currency area," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 567-578, December.
    8. Bottazzi, Laura & Manasse, Paolo, 2002. "Credibility and Seigniorage in a Common Currency Area," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(4), pages 1034-1046, November.
    9. Joshua Aizenman, 1989. "The Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seignorage," NBER Working Papers 2937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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