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How Tight Should Central Bank’s Hands be Tied? Credibility, Volatility and the Optimal Band Width of a Target Zone

This paper analyzes the linkages between the credibility of a target zone regime, the volatility of the exchange rate, and the width of the band where the exchange rate is allowed to fluctuate. These three concepts should be related since the band width induces a trade-off between credibility and volatility. Narrower bands give less scope for the exchange rate to fluctuate but may make agents perceive a larger probability of realignment which by itself increases the volatility of the exchange rate. We build a model where this trade-off is made explicit. The model is used to understand the reduction in volatility experienced by most EMS currencies after their target zones were widened on August 1993. As a natural extension, the model also rationalizes the existence of non-official, implicit target zones, suggested by some authors.

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Paper provided by Centro de Estudios Andaluces in its series Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces with number E2003/24.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cea:doctra:e2003_24
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  1. Bekaert, Geert & Gray, Stephen F., 1998. "Target zones and exchange rates:: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-35, June.
  2. Jesús Rodríguez López & Hugo Rodríguez Mendizábal, 2002. "On the Choice of an Exchange Regime: Target Zones Revisited," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/10, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O, 1991. "The Foreign Exchange Risk Premium in a Target Zone with Devaluation Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Svensson, L.E.O., 1990. "The Simplest Test of Target Zone Credibility," Papers 469, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1988. "The advantage of tying one's hands : EMS discipline and Central Bank credibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1055-1075, June.
  7. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1992. "An Interpretation of Recent Research on Exchange Rate Target Zones," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  8. Gomez-Puig, Marta & Montalvo, JoseG., 1997. "A new indicator to assess the credibility of the EMS," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1511-1535, August.
  9. Bertola, G. & Svensson, L.E., 1990. "Stochastic Devaluation Risk and the Empirical Fit of Target Zone Models," Papers 481, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1992. "Why Exchange Rate Bands? Monetary Independence in Spite of Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Francisco Ledesma-Rodriguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibanez & Jorge Perez-Rodriguez & Simon Sosvilla-Rivero, 2000. "On the Credibility of the Irish Pound in the EMS," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 31(2), pages 151-172.
  13. Ayuso, Juan & Restoy, Fernando, 1996. "Interest rate parity and foreign exchange risk premia in the ERM," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 369-382, June.
  14. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The mirage of fixed exchange rates," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Stockman, Alan C., 1999. "Choosing an exchange-rate system," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1483-1498, October.
  16. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
  17. Ball, Clifford A. & Roma, Antonio, 1993. "A jump diffusion model for the European monetary system," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 475-492, October.
  18. Bekaert, Geert, 1994. "Exchange rate volatility and deviations from unbiasedness in a cash-in-advance model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 29-52, February.
  19. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
  20. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Mirage of Floating Exchange Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 65-70, May.
  21. Christophe Chamley, 2003. "Dynamic Speculative Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 603-621, June.
  22. Svensson, L.E.O., 1993. "Fixed Exchange Rates As a Means to Price Stability: What Have we Learned?," Papers 553, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  23. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
  24. Labhard, Vincent & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "The New EMS: Narrow Bands inside Deep Bands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 143-46, May.
  25. Domowitz, Ian & Hakkio, Craig S., 1985. "Conditional variance and the risk premium in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 47-66, August.
  26. Bekaert, Geert, 1995. "The Time Variation of Expected Returns and Volatility in Foreign-Exchange Markets," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 397-408, October.
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