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Inertia of the U.S. Dollar as a Key Currency through the Two Crises

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  • OGAWA Eiji
  • MUTO Makoto

Abstract

The current international monetary system with the U.S. dollar as a key currency is considered as the background of the U.S. dollar liquidity shortage during the global financial crisis. However, once facing a U.S. dollar liquidity shortage or crisis, financial institutions are likely to avoid their overdependence on the U.S. dollar. This implies that the international monetary system with the U.S. dollar as a key currency may be changed, especially during the global financial crisis even though key currencies show inertia due to network externalities in using international currencies. In this paper, we focus on the effects of both the global financial crisis and the euro zone crisis on the position of the U.S. dollar as a key currency in the current international monetary system. We base this on a theoretical framework in Ogawa and Sasaki (1998) in which a money-in-the-utility model is used to take into account the U.S. dollar's functions as both a medium of exchange and a store of value in the international currency competition. A parameter on the real balance of the U.S. dollar or its contribution to utility in the model is focused on, analyzing empirically whether both the global financial crisis and the euro zone crisis have changed its contribution to utility. One of the main empirical results from our models is that the contribution of the U.S. dollar to utility decreased during the global financial crisis. This corresponds to a period when financial institutions faced liquidity shortages from mid 2007 to late 2008. U.S. dollar liquidity shortage may have decreased the contribution of the U.S. dollar to utility.

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  • OGAWA Eiji & MUTO Makoto, 2016. "Inertia of the U.S. Dollar as a Key Currency through the Two Crises," Discussion papers 16038, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  • Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:16038
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    1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1981. "Macroeconomic Policy, Exchange-Rate Dynamics, and Optimal Asset Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1142-1161, December.
    2. William J. Baumol, 1952. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: An Inventory Theoretic Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 545-556.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1981. "Devaluation: Levels versus rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 165-172, May.
    4. Ogawa, Eiji & Sasaki, Yuri Nagataki, 1998. "Inertia in the key currency," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 421-439, October.
    5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, March.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1985. "Currency substitution and the real exchange rate: the utility maximization approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 175-188, June.
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