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How Many Monies? A Genetic Approach to Finding Optimum Currency Areas


  • Atish R. Ghosh
  • Holger C. Wolf


Recent moves towards greater monetary integration in Western Europe - and disintegration in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union - have rekindled interest in the theoretical and empirical aspects of optimal currency areas (OCA). In this paper, we examine the marginal benefit of increasing the number of currency unions within a given geographical area. We look at six regions; the United States, Europe, the G7, the CFA zone, the FSU and the world at large. Our results suggest that (i) contiguous monetary unions are typically dominated by non-contiguous unions; (ii) neither Europe nor the United States form an optimum currency area, for both regions the costs of adopting a single currency exceeds estimates of the transaction cost savings; (iii) Germany and the United States will almost never find it to their (economic) advantage to join monetary unions.

Suggested Citation

  • Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "How Many Monies? A Genetic Approach to Finding Optimum Currency Areas," NBER Working Papers 4805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4805
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mr. Robert P Flood & Mr. Joshua Aizenman, 1992. "A Theory of Optimum Currency Areas: Revisited," IMF Working Papers 1992/039, International Monetary Fund.
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    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange


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