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Is Foreign Exchange Intervention Effective?: The Japanese experiences in the 1990s

  • Takatoshi Ito

This paper examines Japanese foreign exchanges interventions from April 1991 to March 2001 based on newly disclosed official data. All the yen-selling (dollar-purchasing) interventions were carried out when the yen/dollar rate was below 125, while all the yen-purchasing (dollar-selling) interventions were carried out when the yen/dollar was above 125. The Japanese monetary authorities, by buying the dollar low and selling it high, have produced large profits, in terms of realized capital gains, unrealized capital gains, and carrying (interest rate differential) profits, from interventions during the ten years. Profits amounted to 9 trillion yen (2% of GDP) in 10 years. Interventions are found to be effective in the second half of the 1990s, when daily yen/dollar exchange rate changes were regressed on various factors including interventions. The US interventions in the 1990s were always accompanied by the Japanese interventions. The joint interventions were found to be 20-50 times more effective than the Japanese unilateral interventions. Japanese interventions were found to be prompted by rapid changes in the yen/dollar rate and the deviation from the long-run mean (say, 125 yen). The interventions in the second half were less predictable than the first half.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number a428.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:a428
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  1. Dominguez, K.M., 1989. "Market Responses To Coordinated Central Bank Intervention," Papers 179d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Edison, H.J., 1993. "The Effectiveness of Central-Bank Intervention: A Survey of the Litterature after 1982," Princeton Studies in International Economics 18, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  3. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1990. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Work?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 16, January.
  4. Ramana Ramaswamy & Hossein Samiei, 2000. "The Yen-Dollar Rate; Have Interventions Mattered?," IMF Working Papers 00/95, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Owen F. Humpage, 1988. "Intervention and the dollar's decline," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-16.
  6. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective, and, If So, How Does It Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1993. "Does Foreign-Exchange Intervention Matter? The Portfolio Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1356-69, December.
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