Integration in the Global Economy
New Horizons in Money and Finance series
Edited by Suthiphand Chirathivat, Emil-Maria Claassen and Jürgen Schroeder
Chapter 1: East Asia's monetary future: an introduction
1. East Asia’s monetary future: an introduction Suthiphand Chirathivat, Emil-Maria Claassen and Jürgen Schroeder 1.1 THE CONFERENCE Chulalongkorn University is Thailand’s oldest university, and it is among the highest ranked in Southeast Asia. King Rama VI founded the university in 1917. He dedicated the campus – lying in the heart of Bangkok and nearly as big and green as Stanford – to his father, Chulalongkorn, who had been King Rama V from 1868 to 1910. On 5–6 September 2001, ‘Chula’ – as it is known by insiders – celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Faculty of Economics with an international conference on the prospects for East Asian monetary integration. Organized in co-operation with the universities of Paris-Dauphine and Mannheim, the conference assembled a group of approximately 30 authors and fellow colleagues. It drew approximately 100 participants from the academic, business and policy-making communities as well as a large number of Chulalongkorn students, and was sponsored by the Central Bank of Thailand, the Asian Development Bank, Volkswagen-Stiftung, Thai Airways International and the Kenan Institute Asia. Over the past decade, applied economic research on East Asia had been concentrating on issues such as the ‘Asian-value’ controversy and the ‘growth miracle’ phenomenon. Monetary issues had been rather insignificant – even among Asian economists. One reason for this lack of interest could have been the previously astonishing performance in price stability within the Asian region (including China) over the foregoing 20 years – in contrast to Latin America and Africa. With the arrival of the East Asian monetary...