How feasible is the West African eco currency union? A new approach
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Miles, William, How Feasible is the West African Eco Currency Union? A New Approach (June 25, 2015)
A recent proposal to expand the CFA Franc zone in West Africa would create a currency union that, in terms of population, would rival the Euro. This new currency union would include Nigeria, which would have the largest GDP, and which is also, unlike most other current and proposed members, heavily dependent on oil exports. Synchronization of business cycles across the nations of this new monetary union would be important in assuring its feasibility. In this paper, we apply a recently developed set of tools and find, first, that by some salient measures, the proposed nations in this union exhibit less business cycle coherence than those of the euro zone prior to its launch. Secondly, Nigeria seems especially ill-suited for this new currency. Finally, it does not appear, based on the experience of several nations, that the act of joining the currency union increases business cycle synchronization, contrary to the "Endogenous Optimal Currency Area" hypothesis.
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