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Economic Integration and Monetary Union

  • Andrew Coleman
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    Recent research shows that trade of goods and financial products is much greater within countries than it is between countries, even allowing for factors such as transports costs. This lack of economic integration is likely to be costly for small nations, as internal trade is much less diverse than internal trade in large nations. European countries have long argued that the adoption of a single currency is a primary means to enhance economic and social integration, and with the adoption of the euro most European countries have given up monetary independence in order to gain these benefits. This paper examines the modern literature analysing the costs and benefits of forming a monetary union. It contends that New Zealand should reassess the merits of these arguments, although it does not perform a cost benefit analysis for New Zealand, or even recommend whose currency should be preferred. It appears that the benefits of monetary independence are lower than previously thought. This is because most countries have attained low inflation, and because of new evidence that the volatility of exchange rates inherent with monetary independence may be the cause of economic shocks rather than the means of adjusting to economic shocks.

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    Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 99/06.

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    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:99/06
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    1. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
    2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "The Noise Trader Approach to Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 19-33, Spring.
    4. Andrew Coleman & Toby Daglish, . "Regional Price Convergence in Australia and New Zealand, 1984-1996," Treasury Working Paper Series 98/03, New Zealand Treasury.
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