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Why Has the Euro Been so Weak?

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  • Guy Meredith
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    Abstract

    The weakness of the euro has been surprising given the widely-held expectation that it would be a strong currency. This paper critically examines explanations for the slide in the euro, finding that many are questionable on conceptual or empirical grounds. Two explanations are instead advanced that appear to be consistent both with theory and data. The first originates in the global surge in equity prices since the mid-1990s, which created a demand shock that disproportionately affected the U.S. economy. Model simulations indicate that this can explain the strength of the dollar against other currencies in recent years, accounting for about half of the decline in the effective value of the euro. The other component of euro weakness can be attributed to a mismatch between the demand and supply of euro-denominated assets that arose with the creation of the single currency in 1999. The effect of both these factors should fade over time, although near-term market volatility could be exacerbated by uncertainties about the fundamentals driving currency values.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/155.

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    Length: 50
    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/155

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    Related research

    Keywords: Exchange rates; exchange rate; real interest rates; inflation; exchange rate movements; real interest rate; aggregate demand; real exchange rate; monetary policy; exchange rate appreciation; relative price; exchange rate change; effective exchange rate; inflation rates; currency values; euro exchange rate; current exchange rate; bilateral exchange rate; real effective exchange rate; foreign currency; exchange rate developments; foreign exchange; real wages; nominal exchange rate; real output; exchange markets; real exchange rate volatility; price level; exchange rate uncertainty; monetary economics; home currency; exchange risk; forward exchange rate; exchange rate levels; real exchange rate movements; relative prices; forward exchange; annual exchange rate; rational expectations; terms of trade shock; lower inflation; price elasticity; exchange rate changes; real rates; dollar exchange rate; spot exchange rate; terms of trade; inflation equation; inflation rate; real exchange rate appreciation; currency appreciation; currency risk; exchange rate behavior; hard ? currency; exchange rate policy;

    References

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    1. William D. Nordhaus, 2001. "Productivity Growth and the New Economy," NBER Working Papers 8096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. McCauley, R.N., 1997. "The Euro and the Dollar," Princeton Essays in International Economics 205, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    3. Detken, Carsten & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "The Euro and International Capital Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2461, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 1999. "Stability, Asymmetry, and Discontinuity: The Launch of European Monetary Union," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 295-372.
    5. Benjamin Hunt & Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton, 2002. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Higher Oil Prices," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 179(1), pages 87-103, January.
    6. Detken, Carsten & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "The euro and international capital markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2000/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    8. Hans-Werner Sinn & Frank Westermann, 2001. "Why Has the Euro Been Falling? An Investigation into the Determinants of the Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 8352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Gabriele Galati & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2001. "The impact of the euro on Europe's financial markets," BIS Working Papers 100, Bank for International Settlements.
    10. Torsten Sløk & Hali J. Edison, 2001. "New Economy Stock Valuations and Investmen in the 1990's," IMF Working Papers 01/78, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Torsten Sløk & Hali J. Edison, 2001. "Wealth Effects and the New Economy," IMF Working Papers 01/77, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Hans-Werner Sinn & Frank Westermann, 2001. "Why Has the Euro Been Falling?," CESifo Working Paper Series 493, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Cedric Tille & Nicolas Stoffels & Olga Gorbachev, 2001. "To what extent does productivity drive the dollar?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 7(Aug).
    14. Vincent Koen & Laurence Boone & Alain de Serres & Nicola Fuchs, 2001. "Tracking the Euro," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 298, OECD Publishing.
    15. Aude Pommeret & Anne Epaulard, 2001. "Agents' Preferences, the Equity Premium, and the Consumption-Saving Trade-Off," IMF Working Papers 01/117, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Heimonen, Kari, 2009. "The euro-dollar exchange rate and equity flows," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 202-209, October.
    2. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Sofat, Prakriti, 2005. "Real Exchange Rate Overshooting RBC Style," CEPR Discussion Papers 5029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gadea, Maria-Dolores & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 2004. "The European Union currencies and the US dollar: from post-Bretton-Woods to the Euro," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 1109-1136.
    4. Giancarlo Corsetti & John Flemming & Seppo Honkapohja & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2002. "The Weakness of the Euro: Is it Really a Mystery?," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 27-42, 04.
      • Giancarlo Corsetti & John Flemming & Seppo Honkapohja & Willi Leibfritz & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Xavier Vives, 2002. "The Weakness of the Euro: Is it Really a Mystery?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2002(CESIFOFOR), pages 27-42, 04.
    5. Camarero, Mariam & Ordóñez, Javier, 2012. "Nonlinear adjustment in the real dollar–euro exchange rate: The role of the productivity differential as a fundamental," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 444-449.
    6. Catherine L. Mann & Ellen E. Meade, 2002. "Home Bias, Transactions Costs, and Prospects for the Euro: A More Detailed Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp0537, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Renato Filosa, 2003. "Shock monetari e reali, ciclo economico e valore dell' euro," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 56(223), pages 295-324.
    8. Neaime, Simon & Paschakis, John, 2002. "The future of the dollar-euro exchange rate," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 56-71, May.
    9. Mariam Camarero & Javier Ordóñez & Cecilio Tamarit, 2002. "The Euro-Dollar Exchange Rate: Is it Fundamental?," CESifo Working Paper Series 798, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Sofat, Prakriti, 2010. "Can a real business cycle model without price and wage stickiness explain UK real exchange rate behaviour?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1131-1150, October.
    11. Catherine L. Mann & Ellen E. Meade, 2002. "Home bias, transactions costs, and prospects for the Euro: a more detailed analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20076, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Andreas M. Fischer, 2002. "Fluctuations in the Swiss Franc: What has Changed Since the Euro's Introduction?," Working Papers 02.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.

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