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What is Fuzzy About Clustering in West Africa?

Mahvash Qureshi and Charalambos Tsangarides ()

No 06/90, IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund

Abstract: Applying techniques of clustering analysis to a set of variables suggested by the convergence criteria and the theory of optimal currency areas, this paper looks for country homogeneities to assess membership in the existing and proposed monetary unions of the broader west African region. Our analysis reveals considerable dissimilarities in the economic characteristics of the countries in west and central Africa. In particular, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) countries do not form a cluster with the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries; and, within the WAMZ, there is a significant lack of homogeneity. Furthermore, when west and central African countries are considered together, we find significant heterogeneities within the CFA franc zone, and some interesting similarities between the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and WAMZ countries. Overall, our findings raise some questions about the geographical boundaries of several existing and proposed monetary unions.

Keywords: Economic integration; Data analysis; Central African Economic and Monetary Community; Africa; Monetary unions; West Africa; West African Economic and Monetary Union; Monetary integration, cluster analysis, monetary union, terms of trade, inflation, trade intensity, International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions, Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods, (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-cba, nep-mac and nep-mon
Date: 2006-03-01
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Journal Article: Monetary Union Membership in West Africa: A Cluster Analysis (2008) Downloads
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