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This study re-assesses regional integration by taking new measures for thedegree of openness into account. The value-added based economic integration(VEI) model which improves on traditional economic integration models forms thecore of these openness indicators. We show that a shift from the usual proxies ofthe gross economic integration (GEI) model towards those of the VEI model leadsto a decrease of the realized degree of economic integration. Hence, the costs(benefits) are higher (lower) for a country from joining a fixed exchange rate areaas supposed by the standard GEI model. From this perspective, the outcomesbased on the traditional GEI model tend to overestimate the potential success ofa given monetary integration process. More specifically, even a revision of therecommendation for a country to participate in a single currency area might be aconsequence. Finally, empirical estimates of these new openness measures aredelivered for more than twenty countries. JEL classifications: C67, E20, F15, F42