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Exchange rates, inflation, and the sterilization problem: Germany, 1975-1981


  • Obstfeld, Maurice


When the goals of internal and external macroeconomic equilibrium are in conflict, sterilized intervention in the foreign exchange market may provide an independent policy instrument through which the central bank can resolve its dilemma in the short run. This paper is concerned with the West German Bundesbank's use of sterilization during the recent years of exchange- rate flexibility. The paper asks whether the Bundesbank pursued sterilization during the years 1995-1981, and whether sterilized foreign exchange intervention exerts a significant influence on the exchange rate in the German case. Estimation of a stylized Bundesbank reaction function suggests an affirmative answer to the first of these questions. To assess the efficacy of sterilized intervention, a structural portfolio balance model of German asset markets and prices is estimated. Dynamic perfect-foresight simulations of the empirical model are used to ascertain whether imperfect substitutability between foreign and domestic bonds is sufficient to allow the Bundesbank to attain independent internal and external goals over the short run of about a month. The model's verdict is that the Bundesbank has little if any power to influence the exchange rate over that time span without altering current or expected future money-market conditions.
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  • Obstfeld, Maurice, 1983. "Exchange rates, inflation, and the sterilization problem: Germany, 1975-1981," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 161-189.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:21:y:1983:i:1-2:p:161-189

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1980. "Exchange-Rate Expectations and Nominal Interest Differentials: A Test ofthe Fisher Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 0537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. Herring, Richard J. & Marston, Richard C., 1977. "Sterilization policy: The trade-off between monetary autonomy and control over foreign exchange reserves," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 325-343.
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    Cited by:

    1. Suardi, Sandy & Chang, Yuanchen, 2012. "Are changes in foreign exchange reserves a good proxy for official intervention?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 678-695.
    2. V A Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli, 1995. "Institutional Change, Inflation Targets and the Stability of Interest Rate Reaction Functions in OECD Economies"," Working Papers 9606, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Apr 1996.
    3. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:149-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. M. Kabir Hassan & Ashraf Nakibullah, 2008. "Gulf Monetary Union and Regional Integration," Working Papers 453, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2008.
    5. Miksjuk Alexei, 2011. "Study the relation between monetary and exchange rate policy: The case of Belarus," EERC Working Paper Series 11/16e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    6. Kiss M., Norbert, 2005. "A jegybanki devizapiaci intervenció hatékonysága. Nemzetközi tapasztalatok és elméleti megfontolások
      [Effectiveness of central-bank intervention on foreign-exchange markets. International experienc
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 846-872.
    7. Owen F. Humpage, 1991. "Central-bank intervention: recent literature, continuing controversy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 12-26.
    8. Igor Ljubaj & Ana Martinis & Marko Mrkalj, 2010. "Capital Inflows and Efficiency of Sterilisation – Estimation of Sterilisation and Offset Coefficients," Working Papers 24, The Croatian National Bank, Croatia.
    9. Adrian Blundell-Wignall & Frank Browne, 1992. "Real Exchange Rates and the Globalisation of Financial Markets," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9203, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    10. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke & Richhild Moessner, 2017. "Informal one-sided target zone model and the Swiss franc," BIS Working Papers 660, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Richard C. Marston & Guido Carli & Jacques Attali & John R. Petty & Robert Solomon, 1988. "Exchange Rate Coordination," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Cooperation, pages 79-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Linkon Mondal, 2014. "Volatility spillover between the RBI’s intervention and exchange rate," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 549-560, December.
    13. Cavusoglu Nevin, 2011. "Exchange Rates and the Effectiveness of Actual and Oral Official Interventions: A Survey on Findings, Issues and Policy Implications," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-42, January.
    14. Sung Yeung Kwack, 2001. "An Empirical Assessment Of Monetary Policy Responses To Capital Inflows In Asia Before The Financial Crisis," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 95-113.
    15. Pierre L. Siklos, 2000. "Capital flows in a transitional economy and the sterilization dilemma: The hungarian experience, 1992-97," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(4), pages 373-392.

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