An Independent Scotland's Currency Options Redux: Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Currency Choice
27 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 29, 2014
This paper demonstrates that all of the currency options available to an independent Scotland come with the price tag of an austerity programme to the tune of £40bn. This is due to the need to accumulate foreign exchange reserves. So called Plan A – being part of a formal monetary union – comes with the added price tag of a 7% loss of competitiveness on average per annum. There will also be considerable volatility of competitiveness, similar to a separate currency. A formal sterling currency will end with a speculative attack and currency crisis which would costs Scotland alone anything in the region of £30bn to £200bn. The only currency option that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the costs of independence is that of a separate currency. All of the other options have none of the benefits but even greater costs than the separate currency option. However, this would also be a costly option in terms of the costs of redenomination and the need to build up an adequate stock of foreign exchange reserves.
Keywords: currency regimes, economics of Scottish independence
JEL Classification: F310, F320
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation