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Evaluating Foreign Exchange Market Intervention: Self-Selection, Counterfactuals and Average Treatment Effects

  • Fatum, Rasmus
  • Hutchison, Michael M.

Studies of central bank intervention are complicated by the fact that we typically observe intervention only during periods of turbulent exchange markets. Furthermore, entering the market during these particular periods is a conscious “self-selection†choice made by the intervening central bank. We estimate the “counterfactual†exchange rate movements that allow us to determine what would have occurred in the absence of intervention and we introduce the method of propensity score matching to the intervention literature in order to estimate the “average treatment effect†(ATE) of intervention. Specifically, we estimate the ATE for daily Bank of Japan intervention over the January 1999 to March 2004 period. This sample encompasses a remarkable variation in intervention frequencies as well as unprecedented frequent intervention towards the latter part of the period. We find that the effects of intervention vary dramatically and inversely with the frequency of intervention: Intervention is effective over the 1999 to 2002 period, ineffective during 2003 and counterproductive during the first quarter of 2004.

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Paper provided by Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt02c028gr.

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Date of creation: 30 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:scciec:qt02c028gr
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/sccie/

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  1. Reuven Glick & Xueyan Guo & Michael Hutchison, 2005. "Currency crises, capital account liberalization, and selection bias," Working Paper Series 2004-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  3. Taylor, Mark P, 2003. "Is Official Exchange Rate Intervention Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3758, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Vitale, Paolo, 1999. "Sterilised central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 245-267, December.
  5. Fatum, Rasmus & Scholnick, Barry, 2006. "Do Exchange Rates Respond to Day-to-Day Changes in Monetary Policy Expectations When No Monetary Policy Changes Occur?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1641-1657, September.
  6. Owen F. Humpage, 2003. "Government intervention in the foreign exchange market," Working Paper 0315, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Andreas M. Fischer, 2005. "On the Inadequacy of Newswire Reports for Empirical Research on Foreign Exchange Interventions," Working Papers 2005-02, Swiss National Bank.
  8. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, 2004. "Foreign Exchange Intervention and Monetary Policy in Japan, 2003-04," EPRU Working Paper Series 05-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  9. Takatoshi Ito, 2003. "Is foreign exchange intervention effective? The Japanese experiences in the 1990s," Chapters, in: Monetary History, Exchange Rates and Financial Markets, chapter 5 Edward Elgar.
  10. Mark P. Taylor & Lucio Sarno, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective and, If So, How Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 839-868, September.
  11. Fatum, Rasmus & Hutchison, Michael, 2006. "Effectiveness of official daily foreign exchange market intervention operations in Japan," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 199-219, March.
  12. Galati, Gabriele & Melick, William & Micu, Marian, 2005. "Foreign exchange market intervention and expectations: The yen/dollar exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 982-1011, October.
  13. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "An analysis of recent studies of the effect of foreign exchange intervention," Working Papers 2005-030, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  14. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  15. Edison, H.J., 1993. "The Effectiveness of Central-Bank Intervention: A Survey of the Litterature after 1982," Princeton Studies in International Economics 18, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  16. Bonser-Neal, Catherine & Tanner, Glenn, 1996. "Central bank intervention and the volatility of foreign exchange rates: evidence from the options market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 853-878, December.
  17. Reitz, Stefan & Taylor, Mark P., 2006. "The coordination channel of foreign exchange intervention: a nonlinear microstructural analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,08, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  18. Ho, W.-M.Wai-Ming, 2004. "The liquidity effects of foreign exchange intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 179-208, May.
  19. Ito, Takatoshi & Yabu, Tomoyoshi, 2007. "What prompts Japan to intervene in the Forex market? A new approach to a reaction function," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 193-212, March.
  20. Rasmus Fatum & Michael Hutchison, 2005. "Foreign exchange intervention and monetary policy in Japan, 2003–04," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 241-260, November.
  21. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  22. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-73527 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Owen F. Humpage, 1996. "U.S. intervention: assessing the probability of success," Working Paper 9608, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  24. Christopher J. Neely, 2007. "Central bank authorities’ beliefs about foreign exchange intervention," Working Papers 2006-045, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  25. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Weller, Paul, 1997. "The advantage to hiding one's hand: Speculation and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 251-277, July.
  26. Kearns, Jonathan & Rigobon, Roberto, 2005. "Identifying the efficacy of central bank interventions: evidence from Australia and Japan," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 31-48, May.
  27. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. William P. Osterberg & Rebecca Wetmore Humes, 1993. "The inaccuracy of newspaper reports of U.S. foreign exchange intervention," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 25-33.
  29. Takatoshi Ito, 2005. "Interventions and Japanese Economic Recovery," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-100, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  30. Almekinders, G.J. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 1996. "A friction model of daily Bundesbank and Federal Reserve intervention," Other publications TiSEM 9ca974cc-1549-4752-8dbe-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  31. Baillie, Richard T. & Osterberg, William P., 1997. "Why do central banks intervene?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 909-919, December.
  32. Rasmus Fatum, 2002. "Post-Plaza intervention in the DEM/USD exchange rate," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 556-567, August.
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