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Does Central Bank Intervention Increase the Volatility of Foreign Exchange Rates?

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  • Kathryn M. Dominguez

Abstract

Since the abandonment of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, exchange rates have displayed a surprisingly high degree of time-conditional volatility. This volatility can be explained statistically using autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models, but there remains the question of the economic source of this volatility. Central bank intervention policy may provide part of the explanation. Previous work has shown that central banks have relied heavily on intervention policy to influence the level of exchange rates, and that these operations have, at times, been effective. This paper investigates whether central bank interventions have also influenced the variance of exchange rates. The results from daily and weekly GARCH models of the $/DM and $/Yen rates over the period 1985 to 1991 indicate that publicly known Fed intervention generally decreased volatility over the full period. Further, results indicate that intervention need not be publicly known for it to influence the conditional variance of exchange rate changes. Secret intervention operations by both the Fed and the Bundesbank generally increased exchange rates volatility over the period.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4532.

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Date of creation: Nov 1993
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Publication status: published as "Central Bank Intervention and Exchange Rate Volatility", Journal of International Money and Finance, 17, 1, 161-190, February 1998.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4532

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  1. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1989. "The Message in Daily Exchange Rates: A Conditional-Variance Tale," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 297-305, July.
  2. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-70, March.
  3. Hsieh, David A, 1989. "Modeling Heteroscedasticity in Daily Foreign-Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-17, July.
  4. Westerfield, Janice Moulton, 1977. "An examination of foreign exchange risk under fixed and floating rate regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-200, May.
  5. Graciela Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1993. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Signal Future Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lastrapes, William D, 1989. "Exchange Rate Volatility and U.S. Monetary Policy: An ARCH Application," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(1), pages 66-77, February.
  7. Ghosh, A.R., 1990. "Is It Signalling Exchange Intervention And The Dollar- Deutschemark Rate," Papers 48, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  8. Klein, Michael W. & Lewis, Karen K., 1993. "Learning about intervention target zones," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 275-295, November.
  9. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  10. E.K. Berndt & B.H. Hall & R.E. Hall, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 103-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
  12. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-52, September.
  13. Loopesko, Bonnie E., 1984. "Relationships among exchange rates, intervention, and interest rates: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-277, December.
  14. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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