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Evaluating Foreign Exchange Market Intervention: Self-selection, Counterfactuals and Average Treatment Effects

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  • Rasmus Fatum

    (University of Alberta)

  • Michael M. Hutchison

    (University of California, Santa Cruz, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

Abstract

Estimating the effect of official foreign exchange market intervention is complicated by the fact that intervention at any point entails a self-selection choice made by the authorities and that no counterfactual is observed. To address these issues, we estimate the counterfactual exchange rate movement in the absence of intervention by introducing the method of propensity score matching to estimate the average treatment effect (ATE) of intervention. To derive the propensity scores we introduce a new intervention reaction function that includes the difference between market expectations and official announcements of macroeconomic developments that can influence the decision to intervene. We estimate the ATE for daily official intervention in Japan over the January 1999 to March 2004 period. This sample encompasses a remarkable variation in intervention frequencies as well as unprecedented frequent intervention towards the latter part of the period. We find that the effects of intervention vary dramatically and inversely with the frequency of intervention: Intervention is effective over the 1999 to 2002 period and ineffective (or possibly counterproductive) during 2003 and 2004. These results hold up to a variety of robustness tests. Only sporadic and relatively infrequent intervention appears to be effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, 2008. "Evaluating Foreign Exchange Market Intervention: Self-selection, Counterfactuals and Average Treatment Effects," Working Papers 022008, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:022008
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    11. Kitamura, Yoshihiro, 2020. "A lesson from the four recent large public Japanese FX interventions," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    12. Hall, Stephen G. & Kenjegaliev, Amangeldi & Swamy, P.A.V.B. & Tavlas, George S., 2013. "Measuring currency pressures: The cases of the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, and the UK pound," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-20.
    13. Fatum, Rasmus, 2015. "Foreign exchange intervention when interest rates are zero: Does the portfolio balance channel matter after all?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 185-199.
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    16. Pontines, Victor, 2018. "Self-selection and treatment effects: Revisiting the effectiveness of foreign exchange intervention," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 299-316.
    17. João Barata Ribeiro Blanco Barroso, 2018. "Realized Volatility as an Instrument to Official Intervention," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research, in: Alberto Ortiz-Bolaños (ed.), Monetary Policy and Financial Stability in Latin America and the Caribbean, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 259-281, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    18. Fatum, Rasmus & Yamamoto, Yohei, 2014. "Large versus small foreign exchange interventions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 114-123.
    19. Keiichi Goshima & Hiroshi Ishijima & Mototsugu Shintani & Hiroki Yamamoto, 2019. "Forecasting Japanese inflation with a news-based leading indicator of economic activities," CARF F-Series CARF-F-458, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    20. Tatiana Evdokimova & Pavel Trunin & Andrei Zubarev, 2013. "The Impact of the Real Ruble Exchange Rate on the Economic Activity in Russia," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 165P, pages 164-164.
    21. Joscha Beckmann & Michael Kühl, 2017. "The Role for Long-run Target Values of the Exchange Rate in the Bank of Japan's Policy Reaction Function," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(9), pages 1836-1865, September.
    22. Mariko Hatase & Mototsugu Shintani & Tomoyoshi Yabu, 2013. "Great earthquakes, exchange rate volatility and government interventions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00007, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Exchange Intervention; Bank of Japan; Self-Selection; Matching Methods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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