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Prospects for enhanced exchange rate cooperation in East Asia: some preliminary findings from generalized PPP theory

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The Asian financial crisis increased economic disparities in the East Asian (EA) region, thus making monetary integration more difficult, but rekindled political interest in Asian monetary and exchange rate cooperation. This article applies the theory of Generalized Purchasing Power Parity (G-PPP), which looks at the behaviour of long-run real exchange rates, to assess the potential for an optimum currency area (OCA) among a subset of EA countries based on five of the more advanced members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN5). Our findings suggest little support for an OCA for ASEAN5 as a bloc prior to the Asian financial crisis and mixed results in the post-crisis period. In particular, asymmetries in the way countries adjust to shocks and low or insignificant speeds of adjustment were found. Thus, although the application of single OCA criteria is notoriously demanding and our tests apply to only one of the many criteria for the successful formation of an OCA, we cannot find persuasive evidence that ASEAN5 as a group constitute a potential currency area with either the USA or Japan, even when the 'noisy' period of the Asian financial crisis is omitted.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, National University of Singapore, 639798 Singapore

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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