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

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  • Charles Adams

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  • Hwee Chow

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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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Suggested Citation

  • Charles Adams & Hwee Chow, 2009. "Asian Currency Baskets: An Answer in Search of a Question?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 403-423, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:20:y:2009:i:3:p:403-423
    DOI: 10.1007/s11079-007-9064-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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).
    2. J.S. Eades, 2005. "East Asia," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 34 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 331-360, August.
    4. John Williamson, 2005. "A Currency Basket for East Asia, Not Just China," Policy Briefs PB05-01, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Barry Eichengreen, 2006. "The Parallel-Currency Approach to Asian Monetary Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 432-436, May.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    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. McKinnon, Ronald I., 2004. "The East Asian dollar standard," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 325-330.
    11. Clifford R Dammers & Robert N McCauley, 2006. "Basket weaving: the euromarket experience with basket currency bonds," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kawai, Masahiro, 2015. "From the Chiang Mai Initiative to an Asian Monetary Fund," ADBI Working Papers 527, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regional currency basket; Exchange rate divergence indicators; Surveillance; E58; F31; F33;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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