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Will the Secular Decline In Exchange Rate and Inflation Volatility Survive COVID-19?

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  • Ethan Ilzetzki
  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Kenneth S. Rogoff

Abstract

Over the 21st century, and especially since 2014, global exchange rate volatility has been trending downwards, notably among the core G3 currencies (dollar, euro and the yen), and to some extent the G4 (including China). This stability continued through the Covid-19 recession to date: unusual, as exchange volatility generally rises in US recessions. Compared to measures of stock price volatility, exchange rate volatility rivals the lows reached in the heyday of Bretton Woods I. This paper argues that the core driver is convergence in monetary policy, reflected in a sharp-reduction of inflation and short- and especially long-term interest rate differentials. This unprecedented stability, which partially extends to emerging markets, is strongly reinforced by expectations that the zero bound will be significantly binding for advanced economies for years to come. We consider various hypotheses and suggest that the shutdown of monetary volatility is the leading explanation. The concluding part of the paper cautions that systemic economic crises often produce major turning points, so a collapse of the Extended Bretton Woods II regime cannot be ruled out.

Suggested Citation

  • Ethan Ilzetzki & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2020. "Will the Secular Decline In Exchange Rate and Inflation Volatility Survive COVID-19?," NBER Working Papers 28108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carmen M Reinhart & Kenneth S Rogoff, 2020. "Why is the euro punching below its weight?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 35(103), pages 405-460.
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    5. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    6. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carmen M Reinhart & Kenneth S Rogoff, 2019. "Exchange Arrangements Entering the Twenty-First Century: Which Anchor will Hold?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 599-646.
    7. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Willem THORBECKE, 2021. "The Exposure of French and South Korean Firms to Exchange Rates and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the Stock Market," Discussion papers 21017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Tanin, Tauhidul Islam & Sarker, Ashutosh & Brooks, Robert, 2021. "Do currency exchange rates impact gold prices? New evidence from the ongoing COVID-19 period," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    3. Carlos Alba & Gabriel Cuadra & Juan R. Hernández & Raúl Ibarra-Ramírez, 2021. "Capital Flows to Emerging Economies and Global Risk Aversion during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 2021-17, Banco de México.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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