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  • Dr26xx49n?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Cooper, Russell and Kempf, Hubert
    Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department)
    Number: 311
    Abstract:

    Central to ongoing debates over the desirability of monetary unions is a supposed trade-off, outlined by Mundell [1961]: a monetary union reduces transactions costs but renders stabilization policy less effective. If shocks across countries are sufficiently correlated, then, according to this argument, delegating monetary policy to a single central bank is not very costly and a monetary union is desirable.

    This paper explores this argument in a setting with both monetary and fiscal policies. In an economy with monetary policy alone, we confirm the presence of the trade-off and find that indeed a monetary union will not be welfare improving if the correlation of national shocks is too low. However, fiscal interventions by national governments, combined with a central bank that has the ability to commit to monetary policy, overturn these results. In equilibrium, such a monetary union will be welfare improving for any correlation of shocks.

    Keyword: Unemployment, Public assistance programs, Monetary unions, Central banks, Income taxes, Currency, and Stabilization policies
  • 6h440s62z?file=thumbnail
    Creator: Cooper, Russell and Kempf, Hubert
    Series: Quarterly review (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department)
    Number: Vol. 25, No. 3
    Abstract:

    This study argues that the delegation of monetary policy control by one country to another can reduce inflation in the delegating country. Hyperinflation is common in a divided society, one in which special interest groups can pressure a weak central government to issue money to finance their own demands while neglecting the country’s overall welfare. A commitment device like dollarization or a currency board, which gives control of the divided country’s money supply to another country, can eliminate this inflation bias. This is illustrated by Argentina’s experience with inflation and a currency board which, in effect, gave control of Argentina’s money supply to the United States. This argument is made precise using a two-country overlapping generations model to study the effects of delegation. The study also finds that a dollarization treaty between the two countries can be welfare-improving for both.