The Currency Union Effect on Trade: Early Evidence from EMU
In this paper we estimate the early effect of the European Monetary Union (EMU) on trade. We use a panel data set that includes the most recent information on bilateral trade for 22 developed countries from 1992 through 2002. During this period 12 European countries formally entered into a currency union. This is a unique event that allows us to study the effect of currency union among a relatively homogeneous group of industrial countries. Controlling for a host of other factors, we find that the effect of EMU on bilateral trade between member countries ranges between 5 and 10 percent, when compared to trade between all other pairs of countries, and between 9 and 20 percent, when compared to trade among non-EMU countries. In addition, we find no evidence of trade diversion. If anything, our results suggest that monetary union increases trade not just with EMU countries, but also with the rest of the world.