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Optimum Currency Area Theory : An Approach For Thinking About Monetary Integration


  • Horvath, Roman

    (Central European University and Charles University,)

  • Komárek, Luboš

    (The Czech National Bank, Prague and University of Economics, Prague)


The optimum currency area (OCA) theory tries to answer an almost prohibitively difficult question : what is the optimal number of currencies to be used in one region. The difficulty of the question leads to a low operational precision of OCA theory. Therefore, we argue that the OCA theory is a framework for discussion about monetary integration. We summarize theoretical issues from the classical contributions to the OCA literature in the 1960s to the modern “endogenous view”. A short survey of empirical studies on the OCA theory in the connection with the EMU and the Czech Republic is presented. Finally, we calculate OCA-indexes for the Czech Republic, EU, Germany and Portugal. The index predicts exchange rates variability from the view of traditional OCA criteria and asseses benefit-cost ratio of implementing common currency for a pair of the countries. We compare the structural similarity of the Czech Republic and Portugal to the German economy and find that the Czech economy is closer. The results are reversed when the EU economy is considered as a benchmark country.

Suggested Citation

  • Horvath, Roman & Komárek, Luboš, 2002. "Optimum Currency Area Theory : An Approach For Thinking About Monetary Integration," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 647, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:647

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Operationalizing the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas," CEPR Discussion Papers 1484, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Babetskii, 2004. "Ladhésion des Peco (Pays dEurope Centrale et Orientale) à l'Union européenne et l'endogénéité des chocs d'offre et de demande," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 163(2), pages 33-49.
    2. Julius Horvath, 2004. "Optimum currency area theory: A selective review," Macroeconomics 0401014, EconWPA.
    3. Krzysztof Beck, 2013. "Determinants Of Business Cycles Synchronization In The European Union And The Euro Area," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 8(4), pages 25-48, December.
    4. Krzysztof Beck, 2013. "Structural Similarity as a Determinant of Business Cycle Synchronization in the European Union: A Robust Analysis," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 5(2).

    More about this item


    Optimum currency area theory ; central banking ; transition; European Union JEL Classification: E32 ; F42 ; E42 ; F33;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


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