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Rational Speculative Bubbles in an Exchange Rate Target Zone

  • Buiter, Willem H.
  • Pesenti, Paolo

The recent theory of exchange rate dynamics within a target zone holds that exchange rates under a currency band are less responsive to fundamental shocks than exchange rates under a free float, provided that the intervention rules of the Central Bank(s) are common knowledge. These results are derived after having assumed a priori that excess volatility due to rational bubbles does not occur in the foreign exchange market. In this paper we consider instead a set-up in which the existence of speculative behaviour is a datum with which the central bank has to deal. We show that the defence of the target zone in the presence of bubbles is viable if the Central Bank accommodates speculative attacks when the latter are consistent with the survival of the target zone itself and expectations are self-fulfilling. We show that the instantaneous volatility of exchange rates within a bank is not necessarily less than the volatility under free float. There need not be a constant tradeoff between the volatility of the change in the exchange rate and the volatility of the change in the interest rate differential. Fundamental-dependent bubbles can account for the excess response of the exchange rate to the fundamental. The relationship between the exchange rate and the interest differential need not be negative, even if the target zone is fully credible.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 479.

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Date of creation: Nov 1990
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:479
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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1990. "The Simplest Test of Target Zone Credibility," NBER Working Papers 3394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1991. "The Linkage between Speculative Attack and Target Zone Models of Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1367-72, November.
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  7. Delgado, F. & Dumas, B., 1990. "Monetary Contracting Between Central Banks And The Design Of Sustainable Exchange-Rate Zones," Weiss Center Working Papers 20-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
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  9. Delgado, F. & Dumas, B., 1990. "Monetary Contracting Between Central Banks And The Design Of Sustainable Exchange-Rate Zones," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 360, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  17. Klein, Michael W, 1990. "Playing with the Band: Dynamic Effects of Target Zones in an Open Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(4), pages 757-72, November.
  18. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies And The Business Cycle," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 740-769, December.
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  25. Francisco Delgado & Bernard Dumas, . "Monetary Contracting between Central Banks and the Design of Sustainable Exchange-Rate Zones (Reprint 035)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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