The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper investigates the circumstances under which it is beneficial to participate in a currency area. A two-country monetary model of trade with nominal rigidities encompasses the real and monetary arguments suggested by the optimum currency area literature: correlation of real shocks, international factor mobility, fiscal adjustment, openness, difference in national inflationary biases, correlation of monetary shocks, and benefits of a single currency. The effect of openness on the net benefits is ambiguous, contrary to the usual argument that more open economies are better candidates for a currency area. Countries do not necessarily agree on whether a given currency union should be created.