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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)
International Finance Discussion Papers
The road to adopting the euro: monetary policy and exchange rate regimes in EU candidate countries
Fabio M. Natalucci
Federico Ravenna
Abstract

This paper examines the choice of exchange rate regime in EU candidate countries during the process of accession to the European Monetary Union (EMU). In the presence of real exchange rate appreciation due to the Balassa-Samuelson effect, candidate countries face a trade-off between trend appreciation of the nominal exchange rate and high inflation rates. In a general equilibrium model of an emerging market economy, we show that under a fixed or heavily managed exchange rate the Balassa-Samuelson effect might prevent compliance with the Maastricht inflation criterion, unless a contractionary policy is adopted. We then discuss how the real exchange rate appreciation shifts the output gap/inflation variance trade-off, increasing the cost of managing or fixing the exchange rate. As a consequence, the requirement of membership in the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM-II) and the Maastricht inflation criterion constrain the policy choice while providing no additional benefit to countries credibly committed to joining the Euro. Finally, we show that relaxing either the exchange rate requirement or the inflation criterion has sharply different business cycle implications for the accession countries.


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Fabio M. Natalucci & Federico Ravenna, The road to adopting the euro: monetary policy and exchange rate regimes in EU candidate countries, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), International Finance Discussion Papers 741, 2002.
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Keywords: European Union countries ; Foreign exchange rates ; Economic and Monetary Union
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