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On the denomination of government debt: a critique of the portfolio balance approach

  • David K. Backus
  • Patrick J. Kehoe

We show that some classes of sterilized interventions have no effect on equilibrium prices and quantities. The proof does not require complete markets, Ricardian equivalence, monetary neutrality, or the law of one price. Moreover, regressions of exchange rates or interest differentials on variables measuring debt’s currency composition contain no information about the effectiveness of such interventions. Other interventions require changes in monetary and fiscal policy; their effects depend, generally, on the influence of these changes on the economy and not on the intervention alone. In short, sterilized intervention is not, as the portfolio balance approach indicates, an extra policy instrument.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 116.

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Date of creation: 1988
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:116
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  1. Paul R. Krugman, 1981. "Consumption Preferences, Asset Demands, and Distribution Effects in International Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 0651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Buiter, Willem H, 1981. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 769-97, August.
  3. Deborah J. Danker & Richard A. Haas, 1985. "Small empirical models of exchange market intervention : applications to Germany, Japan, and Canada," Staff Studies 135, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Scholarly Articles 3445091, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld, 1980. "The Capitalization of Income Streams and the Effects of Open Market Policy under Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 0528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Aschauer, David & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1983. "A Further Exploration in the Theory of Exchange Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 868-75, October.
  7. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1987. "Trade and Exchange-Rate Dynamics in a Dynamic Competitive Economy," Working Papers 684, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1984. "On the effects of sterilized intervention : An analysis of weekly data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 133-150, September.
  9. William H. Branson & Dale W. Henderson, 1984. "The Specification and Influence of Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 1283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1980. "Exchange Rate Risk and the Macroeconomics of Exchange Rate Determination," NBER Working Papers 0493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kouri, Pentti J K, 1976. " The Exchange Rate and the Balance of Payments in the Short Run and in the Long Run: A Monetary Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 280-304.
  12. Persson, Torsten, 1984. "Real transfers in fixed exchange rate systems and the international adjustment mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 349-369, May.
  13. Warren E. Weber, 1986. "Do sterilized interventions affect exchange rates?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 14-23.
  14. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Charles Engel, 1982. "Do Asset-Demand Functions Optimize over the Mean and Variance of Real Returns? A Six-Currency Test," NBER Working Papers 1051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lucas, Robert E., 1984. "Money in a theory of finance," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 9-46, January.
  16. Pentti J.K. Kouri & Jorge B. de Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustment Process," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 488, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  17. Peled, Dan, 1985. "Stochastic inflation and government provision of indexed bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 291-308, May.
  18. Branson, William H. & Halttunen, Hannu & Masson, Paul, 1977. "Exchange rates in the short run: The dollar-dentschemark rate," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 303-324.
  19. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1985. "The Dazzling Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(1), pages 199-217.
  20. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
  21. 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.
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