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Management of a Common Currency

  • Alessandra Casella
  • Jonathan Feinstein

This paper presents a simple general equilibrium model of two countries using a common currency. The goal is to study how the monetary arrangement influences the optimum financing of a public good. If the two countries are allowed to print the common currency autonomously, they will finance their fiscal spending with money, oversupplying the public good and crowding out the private sector. The possibility to export part of the inflation creates a distortion in incentives such the resulting equilibrium is strictly welfare inferior to the one prevailing under flexible exchange rates. If the management of the common currency is deferred to an international central bank, each country will try to use domestic policy variables (taxes) to manipulate in its favor the actions of the bank. With no independent domestic taxes, the bank can improve welfare. However, its policies naturally support the larger country, and to induce the smaller one to participate requires giving it a disproportionately large, politically unrealistic, representation in the bank's objective function.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2740.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2740.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as A European Central Bank? Giovannini and DeCecco, editors. Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2740
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Hamada, Koichi, 1976. "A Strategic Analysis of Monetary Interdependence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 677-700, August.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-90, October.
  3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  4. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1982. "Dynamics of a Floating Exchange Rate Regime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 728-54, August.
  5. Kehoe, Patrick J., 1987. "Coordination of fiscal policies in a world economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 349-376, May.
  6. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-22, May.
  7. Wood, Geoffrey E., 1986. "European monetary integration? A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 329-336, November.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1987. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt in a Democracy," NBER Working Papers 2308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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