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Does a Big Bazooka Matter? Central Bank Balance-Sheet Policies and Exchange Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Luca Dedola

    () (European Central Bank)

  • Georgios Georgiadis

    () (European Central Bank)

  • Johannes Gräb

    (European Central Bank)

  • Arnaud Mehl

    () (European Central Bank)

Abstract

We estimate the effects of quantitative easing (QE) measures by the ECB and the Federal Reserve on the US dollar-euro exchange rate at frequencies and horizons rele- vant for policymakers. To do so, we derive a theoretically-consistent local projection regression equation from the standard asset pricing formulation of exchange rate de- termination. We then proxy unobserved QE shocks by future changes in the relative size of central banks’ balance sheets, which we instrument with QE announcements in two-stage least squares regressions in order to account for their endogeneity. We find that QE measures have large and persistent effects on the exchange rate. For example, our estimates imply that the ECB’s APP program which raised the ECB’s balance sheet relative to that of the Federal Reserve by 35 percentage points between September 2014 and the end of 2016 depreciated the euro vis-`a-vis the US dollar by 12%. Regarding transmission channels, we find that a relative QE shock that ex- pands the ECB’s balance sheet relative to that of the Federal Reserve depreciates the US dollar-euro exchange rate by reducing euro-dollar short-term money market rate differentials, by widening the cross-currency basis and by eliciting adjustments in currency risk premia. Changes in the expectations about the future monetary policy stance, reflecting the “signalling” channel of QE, also contribute to the exchange rate response to QE shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Dedola & Georgios Georgiadis & Johannes Gräb & Arnaud Mehl, 2018. "Does a Big Bazooka Matter? Central Bank Balance-Sheet Policies and Exchange Rates," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2018_024, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:cth:wpaper:gru_2018_024
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    Keywords

    Quantitative easing; interest rate parity condition; CIP deviations;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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