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Asian Currency Baskets: An Answer in Search of a Question?

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  • Hwee Kwan Chow

    ()
    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

Abstract

This paper considers how a regional currency basket and the associated divergence indicators could be used in official surveillance. Recently, proponents of Asian currency baskets have referred to the role the ECU played in constructing exchange rate divergence indicators in Europe as evidence of the intrinsic usefulness of currency baskets for exchange rate monitoring. We show in this paper a number of problems with the use of regional currency-basket based divergence indicators. First, at a technical level, such indicators involve tracking regional exchange rates against a moving currency basket and can obscure underlying movements in bilateral exchange rates. Second, currency baskets generally treat currencies asymmetrically leading to difficulties interpreting the derived measures of divergence. Third, intra-regional exchange rate monitoring can lead to potentially serious N-1 or anchor problems. Some of these difficulties can be addressed by bilateral divergence indicators but means will need to be found to anchor regional exchange rate surveillance vis-à-vis currencies outside the region.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 02-2007.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:02-2007

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  1. Clifford R Dammers & Robert N McCauley, 2006. "Basket weaving: the euromarket experience with basket currency bonds," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  2. Barry Eichengreen and Tamim Bayoumi., 1996. "Is Asia an Optimum Currency Area? Can It Become One? Regional, Global and Historical Perspectives on Asian Monetary Relations," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-081, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Ogawa, Eiji & Shimizu, Junko, 2006. "Stabilization of effective exchange rates under common currency basket systems," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 590-611, December.
  4. McKinnon, Ronald I., 2004. "The East Asian dollar standard," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 325-330.
  5. Barry Eichengreen, 2006. "The Parallel-Currency Approach to Asian Monetary Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 432-436, May.
  6. Chow, Hwee Kwan & Kim, Yoonbai, 2003. "A common currency peg in East Asia? Perspectives from Western Europe," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 331-350, September.
  7. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Working Papers 112003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  8. Eiji Ogawa & Junko Shimizu, 2005. "A Deviation Measurement for Coordinated Exchange Rate Policies in East Asia," Discussion papers 05017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. Eiji Ogawa & Junko Shimizu, 2006. "Stabilization of Effective Exchange Rates Under Common Currency Basket Systems," NBER Working Papers 12198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John Williamson, 2005. "A Currency Basket for East Asia, Not Just China," Policy Briefs PB05-01, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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