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Macroeconomic Adjustment Under Bretton Woods and the Post-Bretton Woods Float: An Impulse-Response Analysis

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  • Tamim Bayoumi
  • Barry Eichengreen

Abstract

We use time-series methods to estimate a simple aggregate-supply aggregate-demand model in order to analyze the comparative performance of fixed- and flexible-exchange-rate systems and test competing hypotheses designed to explain shifts between exchange-rate regimes. The paper provides a coherent explanation of the causes and consequences of the shift from the Bretton Woods System of pegged exchange rates to the post-Bretton-Woods float. The shift from fixed to floating was associated with a modest increase in the cross-country dispersion of supply shocks but not with an increase in their average magnitude. In contrast, there was little change in either the cross-country dispersion or the average magnitude of demand shocks. More important in explaining the collapse of Bretton Woods were factors that heightened the impact of shocks on the external accounts, forcing governments to respond to supply shocks with changes in demand that stabilized prices and the exchange rate at the expense of increased output volatility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4169.

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Date of creation: Sep 1992
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Publication status: published as Economic Journal, July 1994, pp. 813-827
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4169

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  1. Barry Eichengreen., 1992. "Three Perspectives on the Bretton Woods System," Economics Working Papers 92-191, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  3. Michael D. Bordo, 1992. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: An Historical Overview," NBER Working Papers 4033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of Monetary Unification," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt791143kp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Is There a Conflict Between EC Enlargement and European Monetary Unification?," NBER Working Papers 3950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  7. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marianne Baxter & Alan C. Stockman, 1988. "Business Cycles and the Exchange Rate System: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 644-52, June.
  10. Hans Genberg & Alexander Swoboda, 1993. "The Provision of Liquidity in the Bretton Woods System," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 269-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
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