Real output co-movements in East Asia: Any evidence for a monetary union?
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics
The East Asian region has experienced astonishing economic growth and integration over the past few decades. It is generally believed that a high degree of integration in the region would greatly shape the economic structure of each individual economy and has direct implications for the effectiveness of domestic stabilisation policy and policy coordination. This paper empirically examines the feasibility of forming a monetary union in East Asia by assessing the real output co-movements among these economies. As suggested by the optimum currency area (OCA) theory that losing monetary independence would be the major cost for adopting a common currency, it would be less costly for the economies to form a monetary union if the business cycles are synchronised across countries. The cointegration test and the Vahid and Engle (1993) test for common business cycles are conducted to examine their long-run relationship and short-run interactions in real outputs, respectively. Our study found that some pair countries in the region share both the long-run and short-run synchronous movements of the real outputs. In particular, the short-run common business cycles are found in some pairs of ASEAN economies consisting of Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, and in the Northeast Asian region consisting of Hong Kong, Korea and Mainland China, as well as between Japan and Taiwan. These findings have important implications for the economies in terms of adjustment costs when considering the adoption of a monetary union.