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Choosing an anchor currency for the Pacific

  • Freitag, Stephan

This paper analyses currency options for six Pacific states - Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu - that issue their own currencies. Empirical estimates indicate that these states already stabilize their currencies against the US dollar because of their large and increasing trade with emerging Asia which denominates its trade in US dollars. Building on the theory of an optimal peg, we argue that the replacement of present currencies by the US dollar would strengthen these countries´ trade. Gravity model estimations indicate that adopting a common external currency would be a major stimulus to Pacific trade. While the Australian dollar has been suggested because of the Pacific´s traditional trade relations with Australia this choice would be the result of a reverse causality bias. A binary choice method is applied to trace endogeneity biases in the Pacific sample. The gains for trade from the adoption of an external currency are lower but remain positive.

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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 112.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:112
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen
Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Alejandro Micco & Ernesto H. Stein & Guillermo Luis Ordoñez, 2003. "The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Early Evidence from EMU," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6511, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. David William Harold Orsmond & Christopher Browne, 2006. "Pacific Island Countries; Possible Common Currency Arrangement," IMF Working Papers 06/234, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Gunther Schnabl & Stephan Freitag, 2009. "Policy Implications of Global Asymmetric Current Account Positions," Review of Economics, Lucius & Lucius, vol. 60(2), pages 103-137.
  4. Dr Peter Kenen, 2002. "Currency Unions and Trade: Variations on Themes by Rose and Persson," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2002/08, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  5. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Working Papers 03001, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ritschl, Albrecht & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2003. "Endogeneity of Currency Areas and Trade Blocs: Evidence from the Inter-war Period," CEPR Discussion Papers 4112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Emerson, Michael & Gros, Daniel & Italianer, Alexander & ,, 1992. "One Market, One Money: An Evaluation of the Potential Benefits and Costs of Forming an Economic and Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773245, March.
  8. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1979. "Money in International Exchange: The Convertible Currency System," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195024098, March.
  9. 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, 04.
  10. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  11. Christie Smith, 2002. "Currency unions and gravity models revisited," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2002/07, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
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