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Soft Exchange Rate Bands and Speculative Attacks: Theory, and Evidence from the ERM since August 1993

  • Leonardo Bartolini
  • Alessandro Prati

We present a model of a “soft” exchange rate target zone and interpret it as a stylized description of the post-August 1993 ERM. Our central bank targets a moving average of the current and past exchange rates, rather than the exchange rate’s current level, thus allowing the rate to move within wide margins in the short run, but within narrow margins in the long run. For realistic parameters, soft target zones are significantly less vulnerable to speculative attacks than “hard” target zones. These predictions are consistent with the ERM’s experience and the abatement of speculative pressure in European markets since the bands’ widening in 1993.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 98/156.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:98/156
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  1. Flood, Robert P. & Rose, Andrew K. & Mathieson, Donald J., 1991. "An empirical exploration of exchange-rate target-zones," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 7-65, January.
  2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1991. "The Foreign Exchange Risk Premium in a Target Zone with Devaluation Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gordon M. Bodnar & Leonardo Bartolini, 1992. "Target Zones and Forward Rates in a Model with Repeated Realignments," IMF Working Papers 92/22, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Gilles, Christian & LeRoy, Stephen F, 1991. "Econometric Aspects of the Variance-Bounds Tests: A Survey," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 753-91.
  5. Michael W. Klein & Karen K. Lewis, 1991. "Learning About Intervention Target Zones," NBER Working Papers 3674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Labhard, Vincent & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "The New EMS: Narrow Bands inside Deep Bands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 143-46, May.
  7. Flood, Robert P & Rose, Andrew K, 1993. "Fixing Exchange Rates: A Virtual Quest for Fundamentals," CEPR Discussion Papers 838, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Dumas, Bernard J & Svensson, Lars E O, 1992. "How Long Do Unilateral Target Zones Last?," CEPR Discussion Papers 645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hull, John & White, Alan, 1993. "One-Factor Interest-Rate Models and the Valuation of Interest-Rate Derivative Securities," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 235-254, June.
  10. Delgado, Francisco & Dumas, Bernard, 1993. "Monetary contracting between central banks and the design of sustainable exchange-rate zones," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 201-224, May.
  11. Krugman, Paul R, 1991. "Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 669-82, August.
  12. Klein, Michael W., 1992. "Big effects of small interventions: The informational role of intervention in exchange rate policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 915-924, May.
  13. Leonardo Bartolini & Alessandro Prati, 1997. "Soft versus hard targets for exchange rate intervention," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 13-52, 04.
  14. Paul Krugman & Marcus Miller, 1992. "Exchange Rate Targets and Currency Bands," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krug92-1, December.
  15. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1992. "An Interpretation of Recent Research on Exchange Rate Target Zones," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
  16. Lewis, Karen K, 1995. "Occasional Interventions to Target Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 691-715, September.
  17. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
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