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Currency Unions and their Effect on Trade

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  1. Currency Unions and their Effect on Trade Andrew K. Rose UC Berkeley, NBER and CEPR http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/arose

  2. Question • What is the effect of currency union on international trade? Answer • Large

  3. Motivation • All agree that expansion of trade only unambiguous gain of EMU • Most other benefits possible via other means • This gain thought to be small • Exchange rate volatility has small effect on trade

  4. A Typical Study • Large panel data set: annual data 1948-1997 for 217 “countries” • Use bilateral “gravity” model of trade • Find effects of creating/dissolving currency unions are large • Entering CU doubles (leaving halves) bilateral trade

  5. Gravity Model ln(Xijt) = 0 + 1lnDij + 2ln(YiYj)t + 3ln(YiYj/PopiPopj)t + 4Langij + 5Contij + 6Landlij + 7Islandij +8ln(AreaiAreaj) + 9ComColij + 10CurColijt + 11Colonyij + 12ComNatij + 13FTAijt + γCUijt, + ttTt + ijt where i and j denotes trading partners, t denotes time. Estimation: OLS with year effects, dyadic fixed effects, robust standard errors Parameter of Interest: 

  6. Data Set • Trade data from IMF’s Direction of Trade • Real US $ • 217 trading entities, most global trade covered • 1948-1997 (with gaps) • Average (4 measures of) bilateral exports and imports • PWT, WDI, IFS for population, GDP • CIA’s website

  7. What is Currency Union? • Money interchangeable between countries at 1:1 par for extended period of time (no need to convert prices) • Fixed exchange rates don’t qualify • EMU as just one (recent) example

  8. Many Currency Unions pre-EMU • CFA Franc zone (15 West Africans) • ECCA (8 Caribbeans) • Panama, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador use US dollar • Many others (Pacific, South Africa, Europe, …)

  9. Event Studies

  10. Dissolution of Currency Union

  11. Estimation Results • γ=.65 (standard error = .05) • Big effect: exp(.65)-1 = .92 • Currency Union almost doubles trade!

  12. More Studies • Special Focus on EMU • Euro only physically introduced in 2002 • Still, Micco, Stein & Ordonez find large positive effects of EMU

  13. Small Literature Now Exists • 34 studies estimate effect of currency union on trade • Summing over all 34 using “meta-analysis” gives large positive effect • Trade rises by between 30% and 90%

  14. Remaining Mysteries • Is EMU Different • Not so far, but very early • Why is the effect of Currency Union on trade so big?