This volume, based on a conference held by the Italian Macroeconomic Policy Group and the centre for Economic Policy Research, examines the issues raised by European monetary unification. An introduction describes recent monetary developments and identifies the motivations for creating a European central bank. Theoretical papers analyse the interactions of capital controls, financial intermediation and seigniorage in open economies; the optimal design of centralized banks of issue by sovereign countries; and some new aspects of the 'optimal currency area' question. The empirical papers provide new evidence and interpretation of inflation experience across Europe and the attitudes of European central bankers about inflation and unemployment. The historical papers describe the experience of currency unification in Germany and Italy in the 19th century and the creation of the US Federal Reserve System. The volume concludes with a panel discussion on the feasibility of European monetary unification, featuring leading academics and central bankers.
List of figures; List of tables; Preface; List of conference participants; 1. Does Europe need its own central bank? Marcello de Cecco and Alberto Giovannini; 2. Monetary policy, capital controls and seigniorage in an open economy Allan Drazen; Discussion Guillermo A. Calvo and Marco Pagano; 3. Seigniorage in Europe Vittorio Grilli; Discussion Rudiger Dornbusch and Luigi Spaventa; Overview of chapters 2 and 3 Michael Bruno and Edmund S. Phelps; 4. Factor mobility, uncertainty and exchange rate regimes Giuseppe Bertola; Discussion William H. Branson, Fiorella Padoa Schioppa and Alan C. Stockman; 5. Management of a common currency Alessandra Casella and Jonathan Feinstein; Discussion Torsten Persson and Guido Tabellini; 6. The tastes of European central bankers Carlo Carraro; Discussion John Flemming and Alberto Giovannini; 7. The costs and benefits of a European currency Daniel Cohen; Discussion Alberto Alesina and Charles Wyplosz; 8. The monetary unification process in nineteenth-century Germany: relevance and lessons for Europe today Carl-Ludwig Holtrerich; Discussion Richard Portes; 9. The establishment of a central bank: Italy in the nineteenth century Valeria Sannucci; Discussion Charles Goodhart and Gianni Toniolo; 10. The founding of the Fed and the destabilization of the post-1914 US economy Jeffrey A. Miron; Discussion Marcello de Cecco and Barry Eichengreen; 11. Panel discussion on the prospects for a European Central Bank Rainer S. Masera, Wolfgang Rieke, Massimo Russo and Niels Thygesen; Index.