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Designing Stabilization Policy in a Monetary Union

  • Russell W. Cooper
  • Hubert Kempf

While the European Monetary Union (EMU) is now a reality, debate among economists nonetheless continues about the design and desirability of monetary unions. Since an essential element of a monetary union is the delegation of monetary power to a single centralized entity, one of the key issues in this debate is whether a monetary union will limit the effectiveness of stabilization policy. If so, monetary union will not necessarily be welfare improving. In this paper, we study a two-country world economy and consider various designs of monetary union. We argue that the success of monetary union depends on : (i) the commitment ability of the single central bank, (ii) the policy flexibility of the national fiscal authorities and the central monetary authority and (iii) the cross country correlation of shocks. If, for example, the central bank moves before the fiscal authorities, then a monetary union will increase welfare as long as fiscal policy is sufficiently responsive to shocks. However, if the fiscal authorities have a restricted set of tools and/or the monetary authority lacks the ability to commit to its policy, then monetary union may not be desirable.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7607.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7607
Note: EFG IFM ME
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  1. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "The EMU and the NAMU: What is the Case for North American Monetary Union?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(3), pages 285-305, September.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  3. repec:dgr:kubcen:199759 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Valerie R. Bencivenga & Elisabeth Huybens & Bruce Smith, 2001. "Dollarization and the integration of international capital markets; a contribution to the theory of optimal currency areas," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 548-596.
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  8. Martin Feldstein, 1997. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 23-42, Fall.
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  10. Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seigniorage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 61-71, February.
  11. Tomás J. T. Baliño & Jakob Horder & David S. Hoelscher, 1997. "Evolution of Monetary Policy Instruments in Russia," IMF Working Papers 97/180, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Poterba, James M, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 395-400, May.
  13. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Beetsma, R.M.W.J., 1997. "An Analysis of the Stability Pact," Discussion Paper 1997-59, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  14. Fuerst, Timothy S., 1992. "Liquidity, loanable funds, and real activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-24, February.
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  16. Arthur J. Rolnick & Bruce D. Smith & Warren E. Weber, 1993. "In order to form a more perfect monetary union," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
  17. Sebastian M. Saiegh & Mariano Tommasi, 1999. "Why is Argentina’s Fiscal Federalism so Inefficient? Entering the Labyrinth," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 169-209, May.
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