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Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Matter? Disentangling the Portfolio and Expectations Effects for the Mark

The time is ripe for a re-examination of the question whether foreign exchange intervention can affect the exchange rate. We attempt to isolate two distinct effects: the portfolio effect, whereby an increase in the supply of marks must reduce the dollar/mark rate (for given expected rates of return) and the additional expectations effect, whereby intervention that is publically known may alter investors expectations of the future exchange rate, which will feed back to the current equilibrium price. We estimate a system consisting of two equations, one describing investors' portfolio behavior and the other their formation of expectations, where the two endogenous variables are the current spot rate and investors' expectation of the future spot rate. We use relatively new data sources: actual daily data on intervention by the Bundesbank, newspaper stories on known intervention, and survey data on investors' expectations. We find evidence of both an expectations effect and a portfolio effect. The statistical significance of the portfolio effect suggests that even sterilized intervention may have had positive effects during the sample period. (It tends to be significant only during the later of our two sample periods, October 1984 to December 1987. That intervention appears less significant statistically during the earlier period, November 1982 to October 1984, could be attributed to the fact that little intervention was undertaken until 1985.) For the magnitude of the effects to be large requires that intervention be publically known. Our (still preliminary) estimates suggest that a typical $100 million of "secret" intervention has an effect of less than 0.1 per cent on the exchange rate, but that the effect of news reports of intervention can be as large as an additional 4 per cent.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3299.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3299.

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Date of creation: Mar 1990
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Publication status: Published as "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Matter? The Portfolio Effect," American Economic Review, vol. 83, no. 5, p. 1356-1369 (December 1993)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3299
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Pentti J.K. Kouri & Jorge B. de Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustment Process," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 488, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Pentti J. K. Kouri & Jorge Braga De Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustments Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 111-158.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1988. "On the denomination of government debt: a critique of the portfolio balance approach," Staff Report 116, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Dominguez, Kathryn Mary, 1990. "Market responses to coordinated central bank intervention," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 121-163, January.
  5. Domowitz, Ian & Hakkio, Craig S., 1985. "Conditional variance and the risk premium in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 47-66, August.
  6. Charles Engel & Anthony P. Rodrigues, 1987. "Tests of International CAPM with Time-Varying Covariances," NBER Working Papers 2303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alberto Giovannini & Philippe Jorion, 1988. "The Time-Variation of Risk and Return in the Foreign Exchange and Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 2573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Froot, Kenneth A & Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1989. "Forward Discount Bias: Is It an Exchange Risk Premium?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 139-61, February.
  9. Paul R. Krugman, 1981. "Consumption Preferences, Asset Demands, and Distribution Effects in International Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 0651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1986. "The Dollar as an Irrational Speculative Bubble: A Tale of Fundamentalisists," NBER Working Papers 1854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dooley, Michael & Isard, Peter, 1982. "A portfolio-balance rational-expectations model of the dollar-mark exchange rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 257-276, May.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1985. "The Dazzling Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(1), pages 199-217.
  13. Paul R. Krugman, 1985. "Is the Strong Dollar Sustainable?," NBER Working Papers 1644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1986. "Are foreign exchange forecasts rational? New evidence from survey data," International Finance Discussion Papers 281, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Golub, Stephen S., 1989. "Foreign-currency government debt, asset markets, and balance of payments," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 285-294, June.
  16. Michael P. Dooley & Peter Isard, 1979. "The portfolio-balance model of exchange rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 141, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. William H. Branson & Dale W. Henderson, 1984. "The Specification and Influence of Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 1283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Goodhart, Charles, 1988. "The Foreign Exchange Market: A Random Walk with a Dragging Anchor," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 437-60, November.
  19. Kenneth A. Froot & Takatoshi Ito, 1988. "On the Consistency of Short-run and Long-run Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 2577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Branson, William H. & Halttunen, Hannu & Masson, Paul, 1977. "Exchange rates in the short run: The dollar-dentschemark rate," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 303-324.
  21. Loopesko, Bonnie E., 1984. "Relationships among exchange rates, intervention, and interest rates: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-277, December.
  22. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1984. "On the effects of sterilized intervention : An analysis of weekly data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 133-150, September.
  23. Maurice Obstfeld, 1988. "The Effectiveness of Foreign-Exchange Intervention: Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 2796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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