DP1484 | Operationalizing the Theory of Optimum Currency Areas

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Recent years have seen a wave of empirical studies attempting to give empirical content to the theory of optimum currency areas as a way of marshalling evidence on the costs and benefits of EMU. This paper reviews this empirical literature, as a way of examining the success with which theory has been operationalized. We also report some new work on the impact of German unification and increasing economic integration in Europe on correlations of underlying disturbances and on geographic specialization of production. We conclude with some thoughts about directions for future research.