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Hong Kong's Currency Board and Changing Monetary Regimes

In: Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7)

  • Yum K. Kwan
  • Francis Lui

The paper discusses the historical background and institutional details of Hong Kong's currency board. We argue that its experience provides a good opportunity to test the macroeconomic implications of the currency board regime. Using the method of Blanchard and Quah (1989), we show that the parameters of the structural equations and the characteristics of supply and demand shocks have significantly changed since adopting the regime. Variance decomposition and impulse response analyses indicate Hong Kong's currency board is less susceptible to supply shocks, but demand shocks can cause greater short-term volatility under the system. The decent performance of Hong Kong's currency board is due mainly to the stable fiscal policy of its government. Counter-factual exercises also show that three-fourths of the reduction in observed output volatility and two-thirds of that in observed inflation volatility are explained by the adoption of the currency board, while the remainder is explained by changes in the external environment. The improvement in stability does not rule out the possibility of monetary collapse, however.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Changes in Exchange Rates in Rapidly Developing Countries: Theory, Practice, and Policy Issues (NBER-EASE volume 7)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_99-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8627.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8627
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Bernanke, Ben S., 1986. "Alternative explanations of the money-income correlation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-99, January.
    2. John Williamson, 1995. "What Role of Currency Boards?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa40.
    3. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
    4. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    5. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
    6. Tamim Bayoumi & Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," NBER Working Papers 3949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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