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Economic Structure and the Decision to Adopt a Common Currency

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel and Andrew K. Rose.

Everyone studying EMU cites the theory of Optimum Currency Areas: whether a country like Sweden should join the currency union depends on such parameters as the extent of Swedish trade with other EU members and the correlation of Sweden’s income with that of other members. Few economists have focused on what we consider one of the most interesting aspects of this issue. Trade patterns and income correlations are endogenous. Sweden could fail the OCA criterion for membership today, and yet, if it goes ahead and joins anyway, could, as the result of joining, pass the Optimum Currency Area (OCA) criterion in the future. (Further, even if Sweden does not enter EMU quickly, it will be more likely to satisfy the OCA criteria in the future as a result of its recent accession to the EU.) The few economists who have identified the importance of the endogeneity of trade patterns and income correlation are divided on the nature of the relationship between the two. This is an important empirical question, which may hold the key to the answer regarding whether it is in Sweden’s interest to join EMU. We review the OCA theory, highlighting the role of trade links and income links. Then we discuss and analyze the endogeneity of these parameters. We present econometric evidence suggesting strongly that if trade links between Sweden and the rest of Europe strengthen in the future, then Sweden’s income will become more highly correlated with European income in the future (not less correlated, as some have claimed). This has important implications for the OCA criterion. It means that a naïve examination of historical data gives a biased picture of the effects of EMU entry on Sweden. It also means that EMU membership is more likely to make sense for Sweden in the future than it does today.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C96-073.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 1996
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c96-073
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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1996. "REcent Exchange Rate Experience and Proposals for Reform," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt62f2p0w1, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Vittorio Grilli, 1991. "The European Central Bank: Reshaping Monetary Politics in Europe," NBER Working Papers 3860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1988. "Real exchange rate behavior under alternative international monetary regimes : Interwar evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 363-371, March.
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  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Is There a Conflict Between EC Enlargement and European Monetary Unification?," CEPR Discussion Papers 646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  8. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  10. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, W, 1997. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, January.
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  13. Honkapohja, Seppo & Pikkarainen, Pentti, 1992. "Country Characteristics and the Choice of the Exchange Rate Regime: Are Mini-skirts Followed by Maxis?," CEPR Discussion Papers 744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-026, University of California at Berkeley.
  15. Andrew K. Rose, 1994. "Exchange Rate Volatility, Monetary Policy, and Capital Mobility: Empirical Evidence on the Holy Trinity," NBER Working Papers 4630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Cohen, Daniel & Wyplosz, Charles, 1989. "The European Monetary Union: An Agnostic Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 306, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  19. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "One Money or Many? On Analyzing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-030, University of California at Berkeley.
  20. Eichengreen, B., 1992. "Should the Maastricht Treaty be Saved?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 74, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  21. George S. Tavlas, 1993. "The ‘New’ Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(6), pages 663-685, November.
  22. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Heller, H Robert, 1978. "Determinants of Exchange Rate Practices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 308-21, August.
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  25. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Shang-Jin Wei., 1995. "European Integration and the Regionalization of World Trade and Currencies: The Economics and the Politics," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-053, University of California at Berkeley.
  26. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521454384 is not listed on IDEAS
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