How Many Monies? A Genetic Approach to Finding Optimum Currency Areas
41 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2000 Last revised: 25 Aug 2010
Date Written: July 1994
Recent moves towards greater monetary integration in Western Europe - and disintegration in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union - have rekindled interest in the theoretical and empirical aspects of optimal currency areas (OCA). In this paper, we examine the marginal benefit of increasing the number of currency unions within a given geographical area. We look at six regions; the United States, Europe, the G7, the CFA zone, the FSU and the world at large. Our results suggest that (i) contiguous monetary unions are typically dominated by non-contiguous unions; (ii) neither Europe nor the United States form an optimum currency area, for both regions the costs of adopting a single currency exceeds estimates of the transaction cost savings; (iii) Germany and the United States will almost never find it to their (economic) advantage to join monetary unions.
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