HKS Library Virtual Book Tour "The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems"

Interview with Author: Alfred Schipke

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Alfred Schipke
Harvard Kennedy School Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy


Book Description


The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU) is one of four regional currency unions in the world. This book is quite timely given the increased interest in the functioning of monetary unions and provides a comprehensive analysis of the key macroeconomic and financial sector issues in the OECS/ECCU. Among others it looks at issues related to economic growth, the fiscal and financial sectors, as well as experiences with debt restructurings, offshore-financial centers, and the regional capital market. It also provides an in-depth analysis of the relevant institutions, economic and financial sector linkages and political economy issues for the region.

The book combines coverage of the various analytical topics with a discussion of the institutional setup of the economic and monetary union, and provides background information on the social, political, and economic setting in the region. An understanding of these issues is important for the formulation and successful implementation of sound policies.

Quotes about the Book

“With national debt approaching 200 percent of GDP in St. Kitts and Nevis, we decided to restructure our debt and implement a home-grown economic program, with the assistance of the IMF, reducing public debt to less than 100 percent of GDP in 2012, putting it on a path to reach 60 percent of GDP by 2020. This will not only reduce vulnerabilities and improve the growth prospects of our twin islands, but will also strengthen the Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union. These and other important macroeconomic and financial sector issues are covered in this comprehensive book. This handbook will not only be a useful reference and guide for policymakers, students, and informed citizens of the region, but will also provide insights that might be relevant for other countries, including micro states, members of monetary unions, and island economies.”
— Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, St. Kitts and Nevis

“This handbook on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) covers, at the institutional and policy levels, the critical issues that have impacted the stability and growth of the member countries of the ECCU, and which are informing the debates on the future of these countries. The handbook provides a compelling narrative on the functioning of the ECCU and is supported by a wealth of empirical data that will be extremely useful to public sector policymakers, the private sector, and the general public in the ECCU, as well as the international community. It is also an excellent complement to two previous publications, The Caribbean: From Vulnerability to Sustained Growth (IMF, 2006) and The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: Towards a New Agenda for Growth (World Bank, 2005).”
— Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

“Long before there was the euro, there was the ECCU (Eastern Caribbean Currency Union). While the former monetary union has been analyzed to death, the latter has received hardly any attention, even from researchers. This timely contribution from Alfred Schipke and his colleagues now begins to rectify the omission.”
— Jeffrey A. Frankel Professor, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government


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The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems

Cover of the book, "The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union: Macroeconomics and Financial Systems"

International Monetary Fund


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