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.
Starting with Friedman and Mundell the academic literature has conducted a high level debate concerning the design of cross-country monetary arrangements. That debate has become very complex and the data requirements necessary for appropriate application of the principles developed are far beyond the means of the very nations for which the principles might be valuable. In this paper we return to the simplicity of the early arguments and formalize them in a way that may be helpful for currency area decisions where little is known about economic structure.