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The European Monetary Union as a Commitment Device for New EU Member States

We show that the credibility gain from permanently committing to a fixed exchange rate by joining the European Monetary Union can outweigh the loss from giving up independent monetary policy if the domestic monetary authority does not enjoy full credibility. Using a DSGE model, this paper shows that when the central bank enjoys only limited credibility a pegged exchange rate regime yields a lower loss compared to an inflation targeting policy, even if this policy ranking would be reversed in a full-credibility environment. There exists an initial stock of credibility that must be achieved for a policy-maker to adopt inflation targeting over a strict exchange rate targeting regime. Full credibility is not a precondition, but exposure to foreign and financial shocks and high steady state inflation make joining the EMU relatively more attractive for a given level of credibility. The theoretical results are consistent with empirical evidence we provide on the relationship between credibility and monetary regimes using a Bank of England survey of 81 central banks.

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Paper provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its series Working Papers with number 98.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: 12 May 2005
Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:98
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