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The synchronization of business cycles in CARICOM: Is there a case for a Caribbean Monetary Union?

Carlton Augustine (Department of Economics, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 27 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the feasibility of the proposed Caribbean Monetary Union (CMU) by examining the synchronization of business cycles within CARICOM. According to the literature on optimum currencies, the synchronization of business cycles is a key requirement for the formation of a monetary union.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to extract the business cycles we use the Hodrick‐Prescott (HP) filter and the band pass (BP) filter. For the purposes of measuring synchronization two concepts are used: the simple correlation coefficient and the Concordance statistic of Pagan and Harding. First, the feasibility of enlarging the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union is examined and then consideration is given to the formation of a new monetary union with Trinidad and Tobago as the center.

Findings

The paper finds the degree of business cycle synchronization to be weak. This casts doubt on the feasibility of the proposed CMU.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has placed emphasis on the synchronization of business cycles. While the synchronization of business cycles is necessary, is not sufficient for a successful monetary union. Other factors such as political cohesion may be just as important.

Originality/value

This paper's main contribution is that it employs a more rigorous framework and a more comprehensive data set than previous studies.

Keywords

Citation

Augustine, C. (2008), "The synchronization of business cycles in CARICOM: Is there a case for a Caribbean Monetary Union?", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 29-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/14468950810880008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited