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Mundell, the Euro, and Optimum Currency Areas

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  • Ronald McKinnon

Abstract

May 2000 Robert Mundell seems to be on both sides of the debate over European monetary unification and on the adoption of common monetary standards in other parts of the world. But this paradox can be resolved by noting that there are two Mundell models-earlier and later. From his theory of optimum currency areas published in 1961, Mundell seemed to be arguing in favor of making currency areas fairly small, as defined by the domain of labor mobility, so as to better offset asymmetric shocks, i.e., those affecting one area differently from another. However, in two important papers written in 1970, but not published until 1973 in an obscure conference volume, Mundell presents a different, and surprisingly modern, analytical perspective. If a common money can be managed so that its general purchasing power remains stable, then the larger the currency area-even one encompassing diverse regions or nations subject to asymmetric shocks-the better.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald McKinnon, 2000. "Mundell, the Euro, and Optimum Currency Areas," Working Papers 00009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:00009
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    File URL: http://www-econ.stanford.edu/faculty/workp/swp00009.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "European Monetary Unification," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1321-1357, September.
    3. Ronald I. McKinnon & Kenichi Ohno, 1997. "Dollar and Yen: Resolving Economic Conflict between the United States and Japan," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262133350, January.
    4. Ronald I. McKinnon, 1996. "The Rules of the Game: International Money and Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262133180, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Costas N. Kanellopoulos, 2012. "The Size and structure of uninsured employment," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 23-41, December.
    2. Klaus Desmet, 2002. "Asymmetric Shocks, Risk Sharing, and the Latter Mundell," Working Papers 0222, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Rokas Bancevičius, 2011. "New EU member states and the Euro: economic readiness, benefits and costs," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 461-480, November.
    4. repec:mbr:jmonec:v:9:y:2014:i:3:p:85-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Handler, Heinz, 2013. "The eurozone: piecemeal approach to an optimum currency area," MPRA Paper 67183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Petros M. Migiakis, 2012. "Reviewing the proposals for common bond issuances by the euro-area sovereign under a long-term perspective," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 43-54, December.
    7. Fabio Masini, 2014. "A history of the theories on Optimum Currency Areas," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 1015-1038, December.
    8. Marek Dabrowski, 2005. "A Strategy for EMU Enlargement," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0290, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    9. Minford, Patrick, 1995. "Other people's money: Cash-in-advance microfoundations for optimal currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 427-440, June.
    10. Kleczka, Mitja, 2015. "Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, and Secular Stagnation at the Zero Lower Bound. A View on the Eurozone," MPRA Paper 67228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Robert A. Mundell, 2003. "Une théorie des zones monétaires optimales suivi de : Le paradoxe de Mundell par Agnès Bénassy-Quéré," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 18(2), pages 3-33.
    12. Zacharias Bragoudakis & Dimitrios Sideris, 2012. "Do retail gasoline prices adjust symmetrically to crude oil price changes? the case of the Greek oil market," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 37, pages 7-21, December.

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