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The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility

  • Obstfeld, Maurice
  • Shambaugh, Jay C.
  • Taylor, Alan M.

The exchange-rate regime is often seen as constrained by the monetary policy trilemma, which imposes a stark tradeoff among exchange stability, monetary independence, and capital market openness. Yet the trilemma has not gone without challenge. Some (e.g., Calvo and Reinhart 2001, 2002) argue that under the modern float there could be limited monetary autonomy. Others (e.g., Bordo and Flandreau 2003), that even under the classical gold standard domestic monetary autonomy was considerable. This paper studies the coherence of international interest rates over more than 130 years. The constraints implied by the trilemma are largely borne out by history.

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Paper provided by Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series with number qt4rq9v2rb.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ciders:qt4rq9v2rb
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  1. Stanton, Richard, 1997. " A Nonparametric Model of Term Structure Dynamics and the Market Price of Interest Rate Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1973-2002, December.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 73-96, Fall.
  3. Larry D. Neal & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2003. "Crises in the Global Economy from Tulips to Today," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 473-514 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 5960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Globalization and Capital Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 121-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Thomas Philippon & Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Eduardo Borensztein, 2001. "Monetary Independence in Emerging Markets: Does the Exchange Rate Regime Make a Difference?," IMF Working Papers 01/1, International Monetary Fund.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  9. Jay C. Shambaugh, 2004. "The Effect of Fixed Exchange Rates on Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 300-351, February.
  10. Larry Neal & Marc Weidenmier, 2002. "Crises in the Global Economy from Tulips to Today: Contagion and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2004. "Global transmission of interest rates: monetary independence and currency regime," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 701-733, September.
  12. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
  13. Phillips, Peter C B, 1988. "Regression Theory for Near-Integrated Time Series," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1021-43, September.
  14. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Stochastic Process Switching: Some Simple Solutions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 241-50, January.
  15. Wu, Yangru & Zhang, Hua, 1997. " Do Interest Rates Follow Unit-Root Processes? Evidence from Cross-Maturity Treasury Bill Yields," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 69-81, January.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. repec:rus:hseeco:181565 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Paul R. Krugman, 1988. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 2481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Goodhart, Charles, 1989. "The Conduct of Monetary Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 293-346, June.
  20. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1991. "The term structure of interest rate differentials in a target zone : Theory and Swedish data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 87-116, August.
  21. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
  22. Christopher M. Meissner, 2002. "A New World Order: Explaining the Emergence of the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Bordo, Michael D & Flandreau, Marc, 2001. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes and Globalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Explaining exchange rate volatility: an empirical analysis of 'the holy trinity' of monetary independence, fixed exchange rates, and capital mobility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 925-945, December.
  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521633178 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio & Serven, Luis, 2000. "Global transmission of interest rates : monetary independence and the currency regime," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2424, The World Bank.
  27. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
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