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Self-Validating Optimum Currency Areas

Listed author(s):
  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Paolo Pesenti

In this paper we show that a currency area can be a self-validating optimal policy regime, even when monetary unification does not foster real economic integration and intra-industry trade. This is because profit-maximizing producers in a currency area adopt endogenous pricing strategies that make exchange rate fluctuations highly costly in welfare terms. In our model exporters choose the degree of exchange rate pass-through onto export prices given monetary policy rules, and monetary authorities choose optimal policy rules taking firms' pass-through as given. We show that there exist two equilibria, which define two self-validating currency regimes. In the first, firms preset prices in domestic currency only, and let foreign-currency prices to be determined by the law of one price. Optimal policy rules then target the domestic output gap and floating exchange rates support the flex-price allocation. In the second equilibrium firms optimally preset prices in local currency, and a monetary union is the optimal policy choice for all countries. Although business cycles are more synchronized with a common currency, flexible exchange rates are superior in terms of welfare.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8783.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8783.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8783
Note: IFM
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  1. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric Van Wincoop, 2002. "A theory of the currency denomination of international trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 747, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2003. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange-Rate Flexibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 765-783.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2001. "Global Implications of Self-Orientated National Monetary Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2856, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo, 2002. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1999. "New Directions for Stochastic Open Economy Models," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt5pf7g8sh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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  8. Neumeyer, Pablo Andres, 1998. "Currencies and the Allocation of Risk: The Welfare Effects of a Monetary Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 246-259, March.
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  10. Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Economics Working Papers 90-132, University of California at Berkeley.
  11. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  12. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  13. Engel, Charles M & Rose, Andrew K, 2001. "Currency Unions and International Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2659, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Devereux, Michael B & Engel, Charles M, 2000. "Monetary Policy In The Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting Rules And Exchange Rate Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2001. "Endogenous Currency of Price Setting in a Dynamic Open Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 8559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jacques Mélitz, 1996. "The theory of optimum currency areas, trade adjustment, and trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 99-116, April.
  17. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  19. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Currency Unions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 409-436.
  20. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445.
  21. Bayoumi, T. & Eichengreen, B., 1994. "One Money or Many? Analysing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Princeton Studies in International Economics 76, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  22. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-1189, September.
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