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Is the strong dollar sustainable?

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  • Paul R. Krugman

Abstract

This paper presents evidence strongly suggesting that the current strength of the dollar reflects myopic behavior by international investors; that is, that part of the dollar's strength can be viewed as a speculative bubble. At some point this bubble will burst, leading to a sharp fall in the dollar's value.The essential argument is that given the modest real interest differentials between the U.S. and its trading partners, the dollar'sstrength amounts to an implicit forecast on the part of the market that with high probability the dollar will remain very strong for an extended period. The paper shows that such sustained dollar strength would lead the U.S. to Latin American levels of debt relative to GNP, which is presumably not feasible. Allowing for the possibility that something will be done to bring the dollar down before this happens actually reinforces the argument that the current value of the dollar is unreasonable.
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Suggested Citation

  • Paul R. Krugman, 1985. "Is the strong dollar sustainable?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 103-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkpr:y:1985:p:103-155
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. M. Keynes, 1937. "The General Theory of Employment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 209-223.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin S. Feldstein, 1986. "The Budget Deficit and the Dollar," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 355-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. William H. Branson & Grazia Marchese, 1988. "International payments imbalances in Japan, Germany, and the United States," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 32, pages 19-57.
    3. Jean-Paul Fitoussi & Jacques Le Cacheux, 1989. "Une théorie des années quatre-vingt," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 29(1), pages 117-160.
    4. van Norden, Simon, 1996. "Regime Switching as a Test for Exchange Rate Bubbles," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 219-251, May-June.
    5. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1991. "Does foreign exchange intervention matter? disentangling the portfolio and expectations effects for the mark," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    6. Rudiger W. Dornbusch, 1988. "The adjustment mechanism: theory and problems," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 32, pages 195-228.
    7. Michael M. Hutchison & Adrian W. Throop, 1985. "U.S. budget deficits and the real value of the dollar," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Fall, pages 26-43.
    8. Ignazio Visco, 2000. "Perspectives on OECD economic integration : implications for U.S. current account adjustment : commentary," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 209-231.
    9. Baldwin, Richard, 1990. "Re-Interpreting the Failure of Foreign Exchange Market Efficiency Tests: Small Transaction Costs, Big Hysteresis Bands," CEPR Discussion Papers 407, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Catherine L. Mann, 2002. "Perspectives on the U.S. Current Account Deficit and Sustainability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 131-152, Summer.
    11. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1990. "The Making of Exchange Rate Policy in the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 3539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Froot, Kenneth A. & Ito, Takatoshi, 1989. "On the consistency of short-run and long-run exchange rate expectations," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 487-510, December.
    13. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth Froot, 1990. "Exchange Rate Forecasting Techniques, Survey Data, and Implications for the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 3470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Feldstein, Martin, 1986. "U.S. Budget Deficits and the European Economies: Resolving the Political Economy Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 342-346, May.
    15. Manuel H. Johnson & Bonnie E. Loopesko, 1986. "The yen-dollar relationship: a recent historical perspective," International Finance Discussion Papers 288, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. Paul Krugman, 1987. "Adjustment in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 2424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Miller, M. & Weller, P. & Williamson, J., 1989. "The Stabilizing Properties Of Target Zones," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 318, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    18. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1986. "The Dollar as Speculative Bubble: A Tale of Fundamentalists and Chartists," NBER Working Papers 1854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Takatoshi Ito, 2000. "Capital Flows in Asia," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 255-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Jacques Le Cacheux & Christian Vasseur, 1985. "Endettement extérieur et politique économique," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 13(1), pages 149-184.
    21. John P. Judd & Bharat Trehan, 1989. "Unemployment-rate dynamics: aggregate-demand and -supply interactions," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Fall, pages 20-37.
    22. Rachel McCulloch, 1988. "Macroeconomic Policy and Trade Performance: International Implications and U.S. Budget Deficits," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in US-EC Trade Relations, pages 349-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Kenneth Rogoff, 2009. "Exchange rates in the modern floating era: what do we really know?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(1), pages 1-12, April.
    24. William H. Branson & Jacob A. Frenkel, 1985. "Causes of Appreciation and Volatility of the Dollar with Comment by Jacob Frenkel," NBER Working Papers 1777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Kim, Iljoong & Kim, Inbae, 2008. "Interest group pressure explanations for the yen-dollar exchange rate movements: Focusing on the 1980s," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 364-382, September.

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