Can the European Monetary System be Copied Outside Europe?: Lessons from Ten Years of Monetary Policy Coordination in Europe

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National Bureau of Economic Research, 1988 - Fiscal policy - 41 pages
This paper addresses the question of whether the European Monetary System can be copied outside Europe. Our answer is negative. The EMS is just one element of a more comprehensive design of institutional integration within Europe: the presence of the European Economic Community, and the dependence of EEC institutions upon exchange rate stability lend credibility to EMS exchange rate targets in a way that would not be present. say, among the United States, Europe and Japan. The EMS has also reproduced previous experiences of fixed exchange rates by not imposing the exchange rate constraint symmetrically upon all member countries: the system has de facto worked as a DM-zone, thus confirming that the institution of fixed rates pg cannot induce international monetary cooperation. Finally, the differences in the use of the inflation tax among European countries and the divergent behavior of government debt after 1979 indicate that the pursuit of monetary convergence among countries with different fiscal structures might entail substantial fiscal reforms.

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