In this paper, the monetary policy independence of European nations in the years before European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is investigated using cointegration techniques. Daily data is used to assess pairwise relationships between individual EMU nations and 'lead' nation Germany, to assess the hypothesis that Germany was the dominant European nation prior to EMU. By and large our econometric investigations support this hypothesis, and lead us to conclude that the only European nation to lose monetary policy independence in the light of monetary union was Germany. Our results have important policy implications. Given that the loss of monetary policy independence is generally viewed as the main cost of monetary unification, our findings suggest a reconsideration of the costs and benefits of monetary integration. A country can only lose what it has, and in Europe the countries that joined EMU - spare Germany - apparently did not have much to lose, at least not in terms of monetary independence. Instead, they actually gained monetary policy influence by getting a seat in the ECB's governing council which is responsible for setting interest policy in the euro area. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Cointegrated VAR method
- European monetary integration
- Monetary policy independence