Schobert, Franziska. (2001) Seigniorage: An Argument for a National Currency?. CEPS Working Document No. 174, October 2001. [Working Paper]
Seigniorage has often been mentioned as one of the most important and most readily quantifiable arguments for a government not to give up its monopoly in base money. The analysis shows that the measurement of seigniorage may lead to very different results and that it eventually depends on the monetary environment, in which central banks issue and manage base money. For less advanced countries in Central and Eastern Europe seigniorage has only been fiscally significant in high inflationary economies and even then the success in exploiting seigniorage has been limited. Widespread currency substitution has contributed to the results. Governments in these countries which are willing to stabilise prices but which lack crediblity to do so, may be increasingly interested in euroisation. More advanced EU accession countries have received low revenues from having a national currency over the recent years. Seigniorage has arisen as a by-product of other central bank’s objectives such as price and exchange rate stability. This caused high sterilisation costs and valuation gains of the central banks asset portfolio have often been the main reason for positive results of seigniorage. In search for a viable monetary regime and in face of further liberalisations of capital markets these countries may look at euroisation as a choice to achieve price stability without exchange rate volatility.
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