IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Central Bank Intervention Increase the Volatility of Foreign Exchange Rates?


  • Kathryn M. Dominguez


Since the abandonment of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, exchange rates have displayed a surprisingly high degree of time-conditional volatility. This volatility can be explained statistically using autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity models, but there remains the question of the economic source of this volatility. Central bank intervention policy may provide part of the explanation. Previous work has shown that central banks have relied heavily on intervention policy to influence the level of exchange rates, and that these operations have, at times, been effective. This paper investigates whether central bank interventions have also influenced the variance of exchange rates. The results from daily and weekly GARCH models of the $/DM and $/Yen rates over the period 1985 to 1991 indicate that publicly known Fed intervention generally decreased volatility over the full period. Further, results indicate that intervention need not be publicly known for it to influence the conditional variance of exchange rate changes. Secret intervention operations by both the Fed and the Bundesbank generally increased exchange rates volatility over the period.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathryn M. Dominguez, 1993. "Does Central Bank Intervention Increase the Volatility of Foreign Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 4532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4532
    Note: IFM

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nelson, Daniel B, 1991. "Conditional Heteroskedasticity in Asset Returns: A New Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 347-370, March.
    2. Kaminsky, Graciela L. & Lewis, Karen K., 1996. "Does foreign exchange intervention signal future monetary policy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 285-312, April.
    3. Ghosh, Atish R., 1992. "Is it signalling? Exchange intervention and the dollar-Deutschemark rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 201-220, May.
    4. Klein, Michael W. & Lewis, Karen K., 1993. "Learning about intervention target zones," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 275-295, November.
    5. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 2002. "The Message in Daily Exchange Rates: A Conditional-Variance Tale," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 60-68, January.
    6. Ernst R. Berndt & Bronwyn H. Hall & Robert E. Hall & Jerry A. Hausman, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    8. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
    9. Lastrapes, William D, 1989. "Exchange Rate Volatility and U.S. Monetary Policy: An ARCH Application," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(1), pages 66-77, February.
    10. Hsieh, David A, 1989. "Modeling Heteroscedasticity in Daily Foreign-Exchange Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(3), pages 307-317, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-552, September.
    13. Westerfield, Janice Moulton, 1977. "An examination of foreign exchange risk under fixed and floating rate regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-200, May.
    14. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4532. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.