I study the macroeconomic costs (both in terms of stabilization and welfare) of the relinquishment of monetary policy independence associated with the membership of a currency area. The analysis is framed within a general equilibrium model of the world economy, composed by a large closed Union and a small (either independent or integrated) open economy. In terms of business cycle stabilization, I find that an economy relinquishing its monetary independence may face a potential trade-off between higher instability in real activity and lower instability in inflation. The tightness of this trade-off is found to be inversely related to the degree of cross-country symmetry of the shocks. In terms of welfare, maintaining the monetary stabilization tool proves to be always welfare improving. Finally, a higher degree of openness does not necessarily make a country a better candidate for participating in a currency area.
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