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Breaking Badly: The Currency Union Effect on Trade

Listed author(s):
  • Campbell, Douglas L.
  • Chentsov, Aleksandr

As several European countries debate entering, or exiting, the Euro, a key policy question is how much currency unions (CUs) affect trade. Recently, Glick and Rose (2016) confirmed that currency unions increase trade on average by 100%, and that the Euro has increased trade by a still-large 50%. In this paper, we find that the apparent large impact of CUs on trade is driven by other major geopolitical events correlated with CU switches, including communist takeovers, decolonization, warfare, ethnic cleansing episodes, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the whole history of European integration. We find that moving from robust standard errors to multi-way clustered errors alone reduces the t-score of the Euro impact by 75%. Looking at individual CUs, we find that in no cases does the time series evidence support a large trade effect, and that the effect breaks particularly badly once we find suitable control groups. Overall, we find that intuitive controls and omitting the CU switches coterminous with war and missing data render the trade impact of the Euro and all CUs together statistically insignificant.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/79973/1/MPRA_paper_79973.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 79973.

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Date of creation: 29 Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:79973
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  1. Christopher M. Meissner, 2003. "Exchange-Rate Regimes and International Trade: Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 344-353, March.
  2. Erik Figueiredo & Luiz Lima & Georg Schaur, 2016. "The effect of the Euro on the bilateral trade distribution," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 17-29, February.
  3. Gabriel Felbermayr & Jasmin Katrin Gröschl & Thomas Steinwachs, 2016. "The Trade Effects of Border Controls: Evidence from the European Schengen Agreement," ifo Working Paper Series 213, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
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  11. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, April.
  12. Douglas L. Campbell, 2010. "History, Culture, and Trade: A Dynamic Gravity Approach," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2010_26, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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  20. repec:pal:compes:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41294-017-0020-x is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Thom, Rodney & Walsh, Brendan, 2002. "The effect of a currency union on trade: Lessons from the Irish experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1111-1123, June.
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  25. Reuven Glick, 2017. "Currency Unions and Regional Trade Agreements: EMU and EU Effects on Trade," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(2), pages 194-209, June.
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