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Optimal target zones: How an exchange rate mechanism can improve upon discretion


  • Miller, Marcus
  • Zhang, Lei


Using Krugman's (1991) target zone model, we find an explicit, sub-game perfect solution for a central bank wishing to stabilize the exchange rate given proportional costs of intervention. We demonstrate, however, that precommitment to narrower bands would yield a welfare gain - which provides a theoretical rationale for an Exchange Rate Mechansim (ERM). Numerical simulations suggest that the optimal currency band with precommitment via an ERM is only half as wide as that under discretion.
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  • Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 1996. "Optimal target zones: How an exchange rate mechanism can improve upon discretion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(9-10), pages 1641-1660.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:20:y:1996:i:9-10:p:1641-1660

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Michael Harrison & Michael I. Taksar, 1983. "Instantaneous Control of Brownian Motion," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 8(3), pages 439-453, August.
    2. E.O. Svensson, Lars, 1994. "Why exchange rate bands? : Monetary independence in spite of fixed exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 157-199, February.
    3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1991. "Target zones and interest rate variability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 27-54, August.
    4. J. Michael Harrison & Thomas M. Sellke & Allison J. Taylor, 1983. "Impulse Control of Brownian Motion," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 8(3), pages 454-466, August.
    5. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-682.
    6. Daniel Cohen & Philippe Michel, 1988. "How Should Control Theory Be Used to Calculate a Time-Consistent Government Policy?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 263-274.
    7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 1997. "Hyperinflation and Stabilisation: Cagan Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 441-454, March.
    2. Cukierman, Alex & Spiegel, Yossi & Leiderman, Leonardo, 2004. "The choice of exchange rate bands: balancing credibility and flexibility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 379-408, March.
    3. Robert Amano & Richard Black & Marcel Kasumovich, 1997. "A Band-Aid Solution to Inflation Targeting," Staff Working Papers 97-11, Bank of Canada.
    4. Daniel Laskar, 1997. ""Incohérence temporelle" de la politique monétaire optimale. Un argument en faveur des zones cibles," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(1), pages 5-22.
    5. Lee, Hsiu-Yun, 2011. "Nonlinear exchange rate dynamics under stochastic official intervention," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1510-1518, July.
    6. Inci, Ahmet Can, 2005. "ERM effects on currency spot and futures markets," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 145-163, December.
    7. Gregory Gagnon, 2012. "Exchange rate bifurcation in a stochastic evolutionary finance model," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 35(1), pages 29-58, May.
    8. Amador, Joao L. M., 1999. "Optimal Budget Deficit Rules," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp385, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    9. Joon-Hwan Im, 2001. "Optimal Currency Target Zones: How Wide Should Exchange Rate Bands Be?," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 61-93.
    10. Cadenillas, Abel & Zapatero, Fernando, 1999. "Optimal Central Bank Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 218-242, July.
    11. Alex Cukierman & Itay Goldstein & Yossi Spiegel, 2004. "The Choice of Exchange-Rate Regime and Speculative Attacks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1206-1241, December.
    12. Lin, Hwan C., 2008. "Forward-rate target zones and exchange rate dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 831-846, September.
    13. Mundaca, Gabriela & Oksendal, Bernt, 1998. "Optimal stochastic intervention control with application to the exchange rate," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 225-243, March.
    14. Lee, Hsiu-Yun & Lai, Hung-Pin, 2011. "A structural threshold model of the exchange rate under optimal intervention," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 931-946, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission


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