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 studies the effect of instrumental and institutional stabilization of exchange rate volatility on the integration of goods markets. Rather than using data on volume of trade, this paper employs a 3-dimensional panel of prices of 95 very disaggregated goods (e.g., light bulbs) in 83 cities around the world during 1990-2000. We find that the impact of an institutional stabilization-currency board or dollarization-promotes market integration far beyond an instrumental stabilization. Among them, long-term currency unions are more effective than more recent currency boards. All have room to improve relative to a U.S. benchmark.