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Membership in the CFA zone : Odyssean journey or Trojan horse?

Author

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  • Devarajan, Shantayanan
  • de Melo, Jaime

Abstract

For most of the 13 African members of the CFA Franc Zone, the 1980s have been a decade of slow or negative growth in per capita gross domestic product, worsening balance of payments, debt crises, financial crises declining competitiveness, and an apparent failure to adjust to the changed environment they inherited from the 1970s. This paper reassesses the costs and benefits of membership in the CFA Franc Zone in light of its members'poor performance in the 1980s. The assessment is based on comparisons of the members'performance indicators with indicators for comparator groups: other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, other low- and middle-income countries, and other exporters of fuel and primary goods. Performance indicators for members of the CFA Zone deteriorated more than indicators for other groups. Growth and investment rates fell more for CFA countries. This decline is attributed to the CFA members'declining competitiveness as other countries undertook adjustment programs that emphasized depreciation of the real exchange rate. The burden of adjustment appears to have fallen disproportionately on reduced spending, particularly reduced investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Devarajan, Shantayanan & de Melo, Jaime, 1990. "Membership in the CFA zone : Odyssean journey or Trojan horse?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 482, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:482
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shantayanan Devarajan & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Adjustment with a Fixed Exchange Rate: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 4, pages 83-123 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. O'Connell, Stephen A., 1989. "Uniform trade taxes, devaluation, and the real exchange rate : a theoretical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 185, The World Bank.
    3. Guillaumont, Patrick & Guillaumont, Sylviane & Plane, Patrick, 1988. "Participating in African monetary unions: An alternative evaluation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 569-576, May.
    4. Riccardo Faini & Jaime De Melo & Abdelhak Senhadji & Julie Stanton, 2015. "Growth-Oriented Adjustment Programs: A Statistical Analysis," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 5, pages 125-135 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Honohan, Patrick, 1990. "Monetary cooperation in the CFA zone," Policy Research Working Paper Series 389, The World Bank.
    6. Dani Rodrik, 1988. "The Welfare Economics of Debt Service," NBER Working Papers 2655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Devarajan, Shantayanan & de Melo, Jaime, 1987. "Evaluating participation in African monetary unions: A statistical analysis of the CFA Zones," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 483-496, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rossum, M.T.A. & Tak, C.M., 1994. "The CFA franc zone : reason for participation," Serie Research Memoranda 0040, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    2. Savvides, Andreas, 1998. "Inflation and monetary policy in selected West and Central African countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 809-827, May.
    3. Bakoup, Ferdinand*Tarr, David, 1998. "How integration into the Central African Economic and Monetary Community affects Cameroon's economy: general equilibrium estimates," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1872, The World Bank.
    4. Kuikeu, Oscar, 2011. "Comment la dernière crise financière a relancé le débat relatif à l'arrimage du fcfa à l'euro
      [How the recent financial crisis have revived the debate on the parity between fcfa and euro]
      ," MPRA Paper 32077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Do the benefits of fixed exchange rates outweigh their costs? The Franc Zone in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 777, The World Bank.
    6. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Riccardo Faini & Bernard Gauthier, 2006. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Enterprises in Small Backward Economies: the Case of Chad and Gabon," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 452-465, August.
    7. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & Majd, Nader, 1996. "Adjustment and economic performance under a fixed exchange rate: A comparative analysis of the CFA zone," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 939-951, May.
    8. Tandian, Dieynaba, 1998. "Les suites de la dévaluation du franc CFA de janvier 1994," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 74(3), pages 561-581, septembre.
    9. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An Empirical Test of Trade Gravity Model Criteria for the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)," MPRA Paper 7083, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Fixed versus flexible exchange rates: Which provides more fiscal discipline?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 399-436, April.
    11. Boccara, Bruno & Devarajan, Shantayanan, 1993. "Determinants of inflation among franc zone countries in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1197, The World Bank.
    12. Chhibber, Ajay, 1991. "Africa's rising inflation : causes, consequences, and cures," Policy Research Working Paper Series 577, The World Bank.
    13. Balogun, Emmanuel Dele, 2008. "An alternative reconsideration of macroeconomic convergence criteria for West African Monetary Zone," MPRA Paper 11367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Patrick Plane, 1996. "La privatisation dans les pays en développement : déterminants et conséquences macro-économiques," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 125(4), pages 19-36.
    15. Elbadawi, Ibrahim & Majd, Nader, 1992. "Fixed parity of the exchange rate and economic performance in the CFA zone : a comparative study," Policy Research Working Paper Series 830, The World Bank.

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