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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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    Cited by:

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    2. 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).
    3. 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).
    4. Maggiori, Matteo, 2021. "International Macroeconomics With Imperfect Financial Markets," SocArXiv z8g6r, Center for Open Science.
    5. Alba Carlos & Cuadra Gabriel & Hernández Juan R. & Ibarra-Ramírez Raúl, 2021. "Capital Flows to Emerging Economies and Global Risk Aversion during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers 2021-17, Banco de México.
    6. Nhan Huynh & Dat Nguyen & Anh Dao, 2021. "Sectoral Performance and the Government Interventions during COVID-19 Pandemic: Australian Evidence," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1-16, April.
    7. Willem Thorbecke, 2021. "The Exposure of French and South Korean Firm Stock Returns to Exchange Rates and the COVID-19 Pandemic," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1-29, April.
    8. Thorbecke, Willem & Salike, Nimesh & Chen, Chen, 2022. "The impact of exchange rate changes on the Japanese chemical industry," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).

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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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