The Case For Remixing The U.S. and Canada

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 17 2012 2:49 PM

The Case For Remixing The U.S. and Canada

1350499763723

Is the United States an optimal currency area (OCA)? Is Canada? Should we have a monetary union? A fun new paper argues that the answer is "no," "no," and "sort of." Specifically that you could combine and then remix the United States and Canada into three separate cross-border monetary unions, each of which would more closely approximate an OCA than the current United States or Canada. The resuling currency groups can be seen on the color-coded map above.

Now obviously in a practical sense it would be annoying for Delaware to be using a different currency from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey or for Maine to be on a different currency than any of the states or provinces it borders. One also might argue that the use of state and provincial level analysis here is misleading in some ways. You might want to base a map on Metropolitan Statistical Areas instead.

Advertisement

But it's an interesting exercise and also a reminder than the North/South international border in North America is a bit odd. With most of Canada's population centers very close to the US border, the north-south commercial and cultural linkages within a given region (Vancouver with Seattle and Portland, Ontario with the Great Lakes region of the US, etc.) are often greater than the east-west linkages within the same country. The linguistic divide between the Anglophone majority and the Francophone minority is in many ways starker than anything separating Minnesota from Manitoba.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 17 2014 10:25 AM An Alaskan Nationalist on the Scottish Independence Movement
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 9:03 AM My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 17 2014 10:20 AM White People Are Fine With Laws That Harm Blacks The futility of fighting criminal justice racism with statistics.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.