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Determinants of the Trilemma Policy Combination

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  • Hiro Ito

    (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))

  • Masahiro Kawai

Abstract

We present a theoretical framework for policy making based on the “impossible trinity†or the “trilemma†hypothesis. A simple optimization model shows that placing more weight in terms of preference for each of the three open macroeconomic policies—exchange rate stability, financial market openness, and monetary policy independence—contributes to a higher level of achievement in that particular policy. We then develop the first empirical framework in the literature to investigate the joint determination of the triad open macroeconomic policies based on the trilemma hypothesis. Specifically, we estimate the three policy indexes under the trilemma constraint that they must add up to a constant. By applying the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) estimation method and employing other robustness checks, we demonstrate that simple economic and structural fundamentals determine the trilemma policy combinations. Last, we examine how deviations from the “optimal†trilemma policy combinations evolve around the time of a financial crisis. Policy combinations seem to violate the trilemma constraint when a currency, banking, or debt crisis breaks out. These findings suggest that deviations from the trilemma hypothesis would create policy stress, which would have to manifest itself in a crisis unless policy makers adjust the policy combination in a way consistent with the trilemma constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiro Ito & Masahiro Kawai, 2014. "Determinants of the Trilemma Policy Combination," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23967, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:macroe:23967
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmed, Rashad, 2021. "Monetary policy spillovers under intermediate exchange rate regimes," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    2. Paul De Grauwe & Pasquale Foresti, 2015. "Fiscal Rules, Financial Stability and Optimal Currency Areas," CESifo Working Paper Series 5390, CESifo.
    3. Rosaria Rita Canale & Paul Grauwe & Pasquale Foresti & Oreste Napolitano, 2018. "Is there a trade-off between free capital mobility, financial stability and fiscal policy flexibility in the EMU?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(1), pages 177-201, February.
    4. De Grauwe, Paul & Foresti, Pasquale, 2016. "Fiscal rules, financial stability and optimal currency areas," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 278-281.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    impossible trinity; trilemma hypothesis; exchange rate stability; financial market openness; monetary policy independence; trilemma policy combination; trilemma constraint;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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