Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Financial Economics


Economics and Finance

Major Professor

M. Kabir Hassan

Second Advisor

Gerald A. Whitney

Third Advisor

Tarun K. Mukherjee

Fourth Advisor

Arja H. Turunen-Red

Fifth Advisor

Benito Sanchez


Many regions of the world would like to replicate the financial and monetary integration of the European Monetary Union (EMU). Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have shown an interest in such an arrangement. ASEAN is a political, cultural, and economic association that includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Many of these nations are experiencing rapid economic development while others are still relatively poor and under developed. As such, they appear to be an unlikely group for currency unification. Older studies suggest that multiple currency union groupings may be possible in the short run that could be unified into a whole at an unspecified time in the future. The issue has been studied for some time and appeared defunct with the onset of the Asian Financial Crisis. More than a decade has passed and another more global financial crisis has ensued leaving many Asian countries in better shape than their highly developed trading partners in the west. This leads to the need for further examination of the possible unification of some or all ASEAN members into a Regional Currency Arrangement.

This dissertation evaluates the readiness of the ASEAN nations for monetary union using data from the post Asian Financial Crisis period. Results of a formal G-PPP test show the area is an optimum currency area. Analysis of other criteria shows incredible diversity across the countries in the region that would make unification a challenge. Coordination of monetary policy would be most difficult given the variety of inflation rates and differences in depth of financial system development as explored in chapter 2. Trade has increased in the region leading to better linkages among economies but the data shows that reaching full integration of all countries by the 2020 deadline without disruptions in some economies may still be difficult.


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