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Financial contagion, interest rates and the role of the exchange rate as shock absorber in Central and Eastern Europe

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  • Maurizio Michael Habib

    (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)

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    Abstract

    This paper studies the impact of external factors on daily exchange rates and short-term interest rates in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland during the period August 1997 – May 2001. I find that neither exchange rates nor interest rates are influenced by short-term German interest rates. Nevertheless, I show that shocks to emerging-market risk premia had a significant impact on exchange rates in all three Central and Eastern European count-ries and on interest rates in the Czech Republic. In addition, studying the second moment of the variables, I demonstrate that Czech and Polish exchange rates were affected by ‘vo- latility contagion’ coming from emerging markets. I find also some partial support for the ‘volatility contagion’ hypothesis on Czech interest rates. These findings shed some doubts on the alleged theoretical ability of a floating exchange rate – such as in the Czech Repub-lic – to absorb external shocks and insulate a country's domestic monetary policy comple-tely. However, the spill-over effect on Czech interest rates might be explained by the ‘ma-naged’ nature of the exchange rate regime, thereby re-establishing some credibility of the theory.

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    File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/if/papers/0209/0209004.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0209004.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: 20 Sep 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0209004

    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; pages: 46; figures: included
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    Web page: http://128.118.178.162

    Related research

    Keywords: exchange rates; short-term interest rates; volatility; the Czech Republic; Hungary; Poland;

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    References

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    1. Sebastian Edwards, 2000. "Interest Rates, Contagion and Capital Controls," NBER Working Papers 7801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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    7. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2004. "Global transmission of interest rates: monetary independence and currency regime," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 701-733, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Frenkel, Jacob A & Mussa, Michael L, 1980. "The Efficiency of Foreign Exchange Markets and Measures of Turbulence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 374-81, May.
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    17. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio & Serven, Luis, 2000. "Global transmission of interest rates : monetary independence and the currency regime," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2424, The World Bank.
    18. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Park, Yung Chul & Claessens, Stijn, 2000. "Contagion: Understanding How It Spreads," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 177-97, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Fabrizio Coricelli & Boštjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and Inflation in Acceding Countries: The Role of Pass-through," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-674, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Jacek Rostowski, 2003. "When Should the Central Europeans Join EMU?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0253, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Sébastien Wälti, 2003. "Contagion and interdependence among Central European economies: the impact of common external shocks," IHEID Working Papers 02-2003, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

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