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Regional Currency Arrangements: Insights from Europe

Josef Christl
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Josef Christl: Oesterreichische Nationalbank

No 42, Working Papers from Bank of Greece

Abstract: This paper focuses on the requirements and features of a successful monetary union on the basis of the optimum currency area theory, the “logical roadmap” for integration as proposed by Balassa as well as the economic and institutional framework of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The analysis suggests that monetary union is contingent upon high economic integration and strong political commitment. However, political union is not an ex-ante requirement. Outside factors such as systemic shocks and globalization seem to speed up the pooling of sovereignty in the economic domain. A firm commitment to stability-oriented monetary and fiscal policies is a precondition for gaining credibility and trust within and outside a monetary union. Last, but not least, convergence criteria, fiscal rules and strong institutions are necessary to help ensure and monitor the participants’ compliance. However, the European experience is not a blueprint for regional integration that can be directly and entirely applied to other regions.

Keywords: Economic and Monetary Integration; International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions; Monetary Policy and Central Banking; Macroeconomic Policy Formation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E50 E61 F02 F33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2006-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-eec, nep-mac and nep-mon
Note: On February 24-25, 2006 an international workshop on “Regional and International Currency Arrangements” was held in Vienna. It was co-sponsored by the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and the Bank of Greece, and jointly organized by Eduard Hochreiter and George Tavlas. Academic economists and researchers from central banks and international organizations presented and discussed current research, and reviewed and assessed the past experience with, and the future challenges of, international currency arrangements. A number of papers and the contributions by the discussants presented at this workshop are being made available to a broader audience in the Working Paper series of the Bank of Greece and simultaneously also in the Working Paper Series of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank. The papers and the discussants’ comments will be published in the journal, International Economics and Economic Policy. Here we present the fourth of these papers. (The previous three were issued as Bank of Greece Working Papers No. 39 to 41.) In addition to the paper by Josef Christl, the Working Paper also contains the contribution of the discussant, Lars Jonung as well as the concluding remarks and main findings of the workshop by the two organizers, Eduard Hochreiter and George Tavlas.
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