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Optimal Exchange Rates: A Market Microstructure Approach


  • Alexander Guembel

    (Lincoln College and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford,)

  • Oren Sussman

    (Wadham College and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford,)


Motivated by the observation that exchange-rate management resembles market-making, we use microstructure theory to conduct a welfare analysis of exchange-rate management, includ-ing the "corner solutions" of a free float and a fixed peg. We show that a policy that smoothes out exchange-rate fluctuations needs to trade off the welfare gain due to lower risk exposure of local producers against the trading losses that the policy would generate due to speculation. We identify the conditions under which exchange-rate management can increase welfare and argue that these conditions are more likely to be satisfied in illiquid markets, mainly small economies and emerging markets. We also explore the role of a Tobin tax (assuming enforceability) in facilitating exchange-rate management. (JEL: E58, F31, G14, O24) Copyright (c) 2004 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Guembel & Oren Sussman, 2004. "Optimal Exchange Rates: A Market Microstructure Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1242-1274, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:6:p:1242-1274

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Thomas Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2006. "Monetary policy and the financial decisions of firms," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 27(1), pages 243-270, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Killeen, William P. & Lyons, Richard K. & Moore, Michael J., 2006. "Fixed versus flexible: Lessons from EMS order flow," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 551-579, June.
    2. Alexander Gümbel, 2005. "Should short-term speculators be taxed, or subsidised?," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 327-348, August.
    3. Ledenyov, Dimitri O. & Ledenyov, Viktor O., 2015. "Wave function method to forecast foreign currencies exchange rates at ultra high frequency electronic trading in foreign currencies exchange markets," MPRA Paper 67470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Andrew K. Rose, 2011. "Exchange Rate Regimes in the Modern Era : Fixed, Floating, and Flaky," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 652-672, September.
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    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
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy


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