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The European Monetary System and the Theory of Target Zones


  • Honohan, Patrick


In credible target zone regimes, exchange rates should, according to Krugman's 1991 theory, spend a disproportionate amount of time near the edges of the fluctuation band. The major application of this theory has been to the European Monetary System (EMS), with several authors reporting that exchange rate data for the EMS do not display this feature, but in contrast cluster towards the middle of the band. We show that such findings result from neglect of the multi-currency nature of the EMS and are overturned when account is taken of the full set of intervention obligations.

Suggested Citation

  • Honohan, Patrick, 1993. "The European Monetary System and the Theory of Target Zones," CEPR Discussion Papers 845, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:845

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1979. "On the Mark: A Theory of Floating Exchange Rates Based on Real Interest Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 610-622, September.
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    3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Stockman, Alan C., 1985. "Exchange-rate dynamics," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 917-977 Elsevier.
    4. Frenkel, Jacob A & Mussa, Michael L, 1980. "The Efficiency of Foreign Exchange Markets and Measures of Turbulence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 374-381, May.
    5. Papell, David H., 1988. "Expectations and exchange rate dynamics after a decade of floating," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 303-317, November.
    6. Krugman, Paul & Miller, Marcus, 1993. "Why have a target zone?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 279-314, June.
    7. Jacob A. Frenkel & Michael L. Mussa, 1980. "Efficiency of Foreign Exchange Markets and Measures of Turbulence," NBER Working Papers 0476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-682.
    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. Mark, Nelson C., 1990. "Real and nominal exchange rates in the long run: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 115-136, February.
    11. Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "After the Deluge: Do Fixed Exchange Rates Allow Inter-temporal Volatility Tradeoffs?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 47-54, January.
    12. Meese, Richard, 1990. "Currency Fluctuations in the Post-Bretton Woods Era," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 117-134, Winter.
    13. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-1176, December.
    14. Stockman, Alan C. & Stockman, Alan C., 1983. "Real exchange rates under alternative nominal exchange-rate systems," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 147-166, August.
    15. Marianne Baxter & Alan C. Stockman, 1988. "Business Cycles and the Exchange Rate System: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Lindbecg, H. Soderlind, P., 1992. "Target Zone Models and the Intervention Policy; The Swedish Case," Papers 496, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    17. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Sichel, Daniel E., 1990. "The demand for money," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 299-356 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:77:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Honohan, Patrick, 1998. "A pitfall in computing exchange rate density in the EMS band," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 839-853, October.
    3. Peter Brandner & Harald Grech, 2002. "Why did Central Banks Intervene in the EMS? The Post 1993 Experience," Working Papers 77, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    4. Peter Brandner & Harald Grech, 2002. "Why Did Central Banks Intervene in the EMS? The Post-1993 Experience," WIFO Working Papers 192, WIFO.

    More about this item


    European Monetary System; Exchange Rates; Target Zones;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions


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