IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Stochastic Process Switching and Intervention in Exchange Rate Target Zones: Empirical Evidence from the EMS


  • Weber, Axel A


Exchange rate target zone models postulate that `in the absence of intervention' exchange rates are driven by their fundamentals, which in this case are assumed to follow an unregulated Brownian motion process-the continuous time equivalent of a random walk (with drift). Such random walk behaviour of freely floating exchange rates is a well-documented stylized fact. The possibility of policy intervention in foreign exchange markets, however, may lead to stochastic process switching: in a perfectly credible target zone the commitment of policy-makers to intervene at the boundaries of a band for the fundamentals gives rise to speculative bubbles, which stabilize the exchange rate within a narrower band. Inframarginal intervention may add to these stabilizing effects. On the other hand, in target zones which are imperfectly credible, policy intervention may also take the form of a realignment, a permanent jump in the central parity. The present paper employs a Bayesian approach to estimate the relative probabilities of these forms of stochastic process switching by using daily data on the Deutschmark exchange rate for the EMS currencies. The analysis reveals that for these EMS target zones intervention and realignment probabilities have recently declined drastically, and that the ERM is now close to being a fully credible peg.

Suggested Citation

  • Weber, Axel A, 1991. "Stochastic Process Switching and Intervention in Exchange Rate Target Zones: Empirical Evidence from the EMS," CEPR Discussion Papers 554, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:554

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Froot, Kenneth A & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Foreign Exchange," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 179-192, Summer.
    2. Bertola, Giuseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1992. "Target Zones and Realignments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 520-536, June.
    3. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1991. "The Simplest Test of Target Zone Credibility," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(3), pages 655-665, September.
    4. Bartolini, Leonardo & Bodnar, Gordon M., 1992. "Target zones and forward rates in a model with repeated realignments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 373-408, December.
    5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-853, October.
    6. Alberto Giovannini, 1990. "European Monetary Reform: Progress and Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 217-292.
    7. 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.
    8. Meese, Richard A & Rose, Andrew K, 1990. "Nonlinear, Nonparametric, Nonessential Exchange Rate Estimation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 192-196, May.
    9. Flood, Robert P. & Rose, Andrew K. & Mathieson, Donald J., 1991. "An empirical exploration of exchange-rate target-zones," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 7-65, January.
    10. Giuseppe Bertola & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1993. "Stochastic Devaluation Risk and the Empirical Fit of Target-Zone Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 689-712.
    11. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1992. "The foreign exchange risk premium in a target zone with devaluation risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 21-40, August.
    12. Bodnar, G., 1991. "Target Zones and Euro-Rates: A Model of Eurocurrency Interest Rate Differentials in the European Monetary System," Papers 91-03, Rochester, Business - General.
    13. Andrews, Donald W K & Monahan, J Christopher, 1992. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 953-966, July.
    14. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-247, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hans Lindberg & Lars E.O. Svensson & Paul Soderlind, 1991. "Devaluation Expectations: The Swedish Krona 1982-1991," NBER Working Papers 3918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Patrick Artus & Claude Jessua, 1996. "La spéculation," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 47(3), pages 409-424.
    3. Antoine Magnier, 1992. "Théorie des zones cibles et fonctionnement du SME," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 104(3), pages 87-113.
    4. Francisco Ledesma-Rodriguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibanez & Jorge Perez-Rodriguez & Simon Sosvilla-Rivero, 2005. "Assessing the credibility of a target zone: evidence from the EMS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(19), pages 2265-2287.

    More about this item


    EMS; Intervention; Realignment; Target Zones;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:554. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.