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Economic Effects of Currency Unions

  • Silvana Tenreyro
  • Robert J. Barro

This paper develops a new instrumental-variable (IV) approach to estimate the effects of different exchange rate regimes on bilateral outcomes. The basic idea is that the characteristics of the exchange rate regime between two countries (exchange rate variability, fixed or float, autonomous or common currencies) are partially related to the independent decisions of these countries to peg explicitly or de facto to a third currency, notably that of a main anchor. Our approach is to use this component of the exchange rate regime as an IV in regressions of bilateral outcomes. We illustrate the methodology with one specific application: the economic e.ects of currency unions. The likelihood that two countries independently adopt the currency of the same anchor country is used as an instrument for whether they share or not a common currency. Three findings stand out. First, sharing a common currency enhances trade supporting previous work by Rose [2000]. Second, a common currency increases price co-movements; this finding is consistent with the observation that a large part of the variation in real exchange rates is caused by fluctuations in nominal exchange rates. Finally, a common currency decreases the co-movement of shocks to real GDP. This is consistent with the view that currency unions lead to greater specialization.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9435.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9435.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as Barro, Robert and Silvana Tenreyro. "Economic Effects Of Currency Unions." Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International (2007), vol. 45(1): 1-23.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9435
Note: EFG IFM ME
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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 2000. "An Estimate of the Effect of Currency Unions on Trade and Output," CEPR Discussion Papers 2631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2000. "Closed and Open Economy Models of Business Cycles with Marked Up and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 8043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Borders, Trade and Welfare," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 508, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Rose, Andrew, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," Seminar Papers 678, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2001. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," Working Paper Series rwp01-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Currency Unions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 409-436, May.
  7. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  8. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
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