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Economía UNAM

versão impressa ISSN 1665-952X


BROWN DEL RIVERO, Alfonso. Theory of Optimal Currency Areas: an update in light of the European experience. Economía UNAM [online]. 2018, vol.15, n.43, pp.70-87. ISSN 1665-952X.

The theory of Optimal Currency Areas (OCA) has followed a parallel development vis a vis the process of European integration. While this theory precedes the European Monetary System, its development has been coupled with this experience. Up to the euro crisis two stages could be distinguished in the development of the OCA theory, the first one focused on the analysis of the appropriate conditions to create a monetary union and the second, centered on the analysis of its costs and benefits. After the euro crisis a third stage can be distinguished in which some limitations of the theory have been revealed and unexpected problems have emerged. In this stage the institutional design of a monetary union becomes critical. One of the main limitations concerns the magnitude and nature of asymmetric shocks, as well as the appropriateness of the proposed mechanisms to deal with them. One of the unanticipated problems is the rapid growth of the tax burden that has put some governments in solvency troubles, due to the loss of capacity to issue debt in an autonomous currency. Another major problem is the lack of guarantees at the federal level for bank deposits in the affected countries. This paper analyzes the performance of the European Monetary Union in light of the theory of AMO, and new elements based on the recent european experience are discussed.

Palavras-chave : Monetary Union; Exchange Rates; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy; Asymmetric Shocks; Eurozone.

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