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How Well do Foreign Exchange Markets Function: Might a Tobin Tax Help?

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  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

Abstract

Figures for 1995 estimate trading by dealers in the foreign exchange market at over $1,200 billion per day, most of it with other dealers. Some have linked this volume to concerns of excessive volatility in the market. Tobin's proposal to address this volatility with a small tax on all foreign exchange transactions has not received the serious attention it deserves. The paper argues that a better case can be made for the proposition that the tax might dampen exchange rate volatility than most economists believe. Calculations show that the tax, unlike some forms of capital control, would fall far more heavily on short-term transactions than long-term. Survey data and a simple model suggest, in turn, that short-term activity can be destabilizing. The paper also offers crude estimates of the revenue that would be raised from the Tobin tax. It is left to other authors to examine a major shortcoming of the proposal, enforceability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5422.

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Date of creation: Jan 1996
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Publication status: published as in the Tobin Tax: Coping with Financial Volatility, Mahbub Ul Haq, Inga Kaul and Isabelle Grunberg, eds. Oxford University, (with E. Stein and S.J. Wei), American Economic Review, 86, no.2, May 1996, pp.52-56.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5422

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  1. Rudiger Dornbusch & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1987. "The Flexible Exchange Rate System: Experience and Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 1993. "Fixing Exchange Rates: A Virtual Quest for Fundamentals," CEPR Discussion Papers 838, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1986. "Short-term and long-term expectations of the yen/dollar exchange rate: evidence from survey data," International Finance Discussion Papers 292, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. John Y. Campbell & Richard H. Clarida, 1987. "The Dollar and Real Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 2151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Krugman, P. & Miller, M., 1992. "Why Have a Target Zone?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 394, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1998. "Regionalization of World Trade and Currencies: Economics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 189-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cutler, David M & Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. "Speculative Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 529-46, May.
  8. Craig S. Hakkio, 1994. "Should we throw sand in the gears of financial markets?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 17-30.
  9. Morris Goldstein, 1995. "Exchange Rate System and the IMF: A Modest Agenda, The," Peterson Institute Press: Policy Analyses in International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa39, November.
  10. Froot, Kenneth A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1988. "Forward Discount Bias: Is It an Exchange Risk Premium?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5w65g4zg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. Takatoshi Ito, 1993. "Short-run and Long-run Expectations of the Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 4545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "The Internationalization of Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 4590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 4(3-4), pages 153-159, Jul/Oct.
  14. 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.
  15. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-38, August.
  16. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  17. Goodhart, Charles, 1988. "The Foreign Exchange Market: A Random Walk with a Dragging Anchor," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 437-60, November.
  18. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, December.
  19. Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1993. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks on Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-72, January.
  21. De Grauwe, Paul & Dewachter, Hans, 1990. "A Chaotic Monetary Model of the Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Kenneth A. Froot & Takatoshi Ito, 1988. "On the Consistency of Short-run and Long-run Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 2577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Glosten, Lawrence R, 1994. " Is the Electronic Open Limit Order Book Inevitable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1127-61, September.
  24. Ananth N. Madhavan, . "Trading Mechanisms in Securities Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 16-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  25. Jeffrey A. Frankel and Andrew K. Rose., 1995. "A Survey of Empirical Research on Nominal Exchange Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-051, University of California at Berkeley.
  26. Janet Gale Stotsky & Parthasrathi Shome, 1995. "Financial Transactions Taxes," IMF Working Papers 95/77, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1998. "The Regionalization of the World Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran98-1, octubre-d.
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  29. Fieleke, Norman S, 1981. "Foreign-Currency Positioning by U.S. Firms: Some New Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 35-42, February.
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