In economics, an optimum currency area (OCA), also known as an optimal currency region (OCR), is a geographical region in which it would maximize economic efficiency to have the entire region share a single currency. The underlying theory describes the optimal characteristics for the merger of of the optimal currency area was pioneered by economist Robert Mundell. The theory of optimum currency areas (OCA) explores the criteria as well as first time that someone used the phrase optimum currency area was Mundell. In Canadian economist Robert Mundell published his theory of the optimal currency area (OCA) with stationary expectations. He outlined.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Journal of Economic Perspectives. The Economics of European Integration. This analysis highlights a number of criteria that a monetary union must meet.

He also found that the Plains would not fit into an optimal currency area.

And the monetary union itself is a factor of integration which will at the same time increase the mobility of the thery of production and reduce the probability of asymmetrical shocks. On every occasion when a social disturbance leads to the threat of a strike, and the strike to an increase in wages unjustified by increases in productivity and thence to devaluation, the national currency becomes threatened.

On the other hand, aras labor markets in the principal European countries suffer from keen rigidities. The theory is used often to argue whether or not a certain region is ready to become a currency unionone of the final stages in economic integration.

Robert Mundell laid the theoretical foundations for the European Monetary Union. Once individual firms can easily serve the whole OCA market, and not just their national market, they will exploit economies of scale and concentrate production.

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At the top of the list is an absence of frequent, large-scale asymmetrical shocks and mobility in the factors of production. It is composed of separate nations, speaking different languages, with different customs, and having citizens feeling far greater loyalty and attachment to their own country than to a common market or to the idea of Europe.


Most economists cite preferentially the first stationary expectations model, and conclude against the optimality of the euro. According to a recent study by Richard Baldwin, a trade economist at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, the boost to trade within the Eurozone from the single currency is much smaller: Some sectors in curency OCA might end up becoming concentrated in a few locations.

Optimum currency area – Wikipedia

Journal of Economic Literature. The theory of the optimal currency area was pioneered by economist Robert Mundell. Account Options Sign in. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Specifically, Keynesian economists argue that fiscal stimulus in the form of deficit spending is the most powerful method of fighting unemployment during a liquidity trap. This shock is asymmetrical to the extent that it creates a surplus demand for products from the East and a surplus supply of products from the West.

The labor factor, which already has little mobility within certain countries, is even less mobile in the region as a whole. For Mundell, money illusion of this type cannot be expected to last for very long. If specialization increases, each country will be less diversified and will face more asymmetric shocks; weakening the case for the self-fulfilling OCA argument.

Second, within a single country, capital mobility can take the place of labor mobility in facilitating adjustment. Accordingly, for a small country or for a region where the share of imports and exports in GDP is large, the effects of a devaluation on price levels will be immediate, and the money illusion will quickly disappear.

Retrieved 29 April Let us imagine a change in consumer tastes that pushes up the demand for automobiles and compresses that for forestry products. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. On the one hand, optimum currency areas would, in any case, almost munde,l fit into the confines of a state or a collection of existing states.

A theory of optimum currency areas.

In economicsan optimum currency area OCAalso known as an optimal currency region OCRis a geographical region in which it would maximize o efficiency to have the entire region share a single currency. To respond to this question, Mundell develops a cost-benefit analysis of the monetary union.


Monetarists in the normal sense of the term are therefore “economists” in the sense of the debate on the monetary union! To understand the notion of asymmetrical shock and the role of the exchange rate, let us assume with Mundell that Western Canada produces forestry products, and the East, automobiles. Mundell’s work can be cited on both sides of the debate about the euro.

Robert Mundell and the Theoretical Foundation for the European Monetary Union

The Post-Keynesian theory of Neo-Chartalism munddell that government deficit spending creates money, that ability to print money is fundamental to a state’s ability to command resources, and that “money and monetary policy are intricately linked to political sovereignty and fiscal authority”. In what circumstances could it be of cudrency for Western Canada and the Western United States to join together to create a Western currency, or for the Eastern parts of the two countries to create a currency peculiar to the East of the continent?

Some economists have argued that the United States, for example, has some regions that do not fit into an optimal currency area with the rest of the country. This Canadian economist has strong ties in Europe: Europe exemplifies a situation unfavourable currecny a common currency. This spreads the shocks in the area because all regions throry claims on each other in the same currency and can use them for dampening the shock, while in a flexible exchange rate regime, the cost will be concentrated on the individual regions, since the devaluation will reduce its buying power.

Thus, the currency union might not be formed based on those current characteristics.

His theory of optimum currency areas, highlighted in the Nobel Committee’s citation as one of his most significant optimuk contributions, has served since the s as an analytical framework for numerous debates on the validity of the creation of a European currency. Subsequently, this process further ensures that the Eurozone meets the OCA criteria.