NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Capital Market Imperfections and the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas

Pierre-Richard Agenor, Joshua Aizenman

NBER Working Paper No. 14088
Issued in June 2008
NBER Program(s):   IFM   ITI

This paper studies how capital market imperfections affect the welfare effects of forming a currency union. The analysis considers a bank-only world where intermediaries compete in Cournot fashion and monitoring and state verification are costly. The first part determines the credit market equilibrium and the optimal number of banks, prior to joining the union. The second part discusses the benefits from joining a currency union. A competition effect is identified and related to the added monitoring costs that banks may incur when operating outside their home country, through an argument akin to the Brander-Krugman "reciprocal dumping" model of bilateral trade. Whether joining a union raises welfare of the home country is shown to depend on the relative strength of "investment creation" and "intermediation diversion" effects.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14088

Published: Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "Capital market imperfections and the theory of optimum currency areas," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1659-1675.

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