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What Hurts Most? G-3 Exchange Rate or Interest Rate Volatility

  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Vincent R. Reinhart

With many emerging market currencies tied to the U.S. dollar either implicitly or explicitly, movements in the exchange values of the currencies of major countries have the potential to influence the competitive position of many developing countries. According to some analysts, establishing target bands to reduce the variability of the G-3 currencies would limit those destabilizing shocks emanating from abroad. This paper examines the argument for such a target zone strictly from an emerging market perspective. Given that sterilized intervention by industrial economies tends to be ineffective and that policy makers show no appetite to return to the controls on international capital flows that helped keep exchange rates stable over the Bretton Woods era, a commitment to damping G-3 exchange rate fluctuations requires a willingness on the part of G-3 authorities to use domestic monetary policy to that end. Under a system of target zones, then, relative prices for emerging market economies may become more stable, but debt-servicing costs may become less predictable. We use a simple trade model to show that the resulting consequences for welfare are ambiguous. Our empirical work supplements the traditional literature on North-South links by examining the importance of the volatilities of G-3 exchange-rates, and U.S. interest rate and consumption on capital flows and economic growth in developing countries over the past thirty years.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8535.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Edwards, Sebastian and Jeffrey Frankel (eds.) Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets. Chicago: University of Chicago Press for the NBER, 2001.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8535
Note: IFM
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  1. Graciela Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2002. "Emerging Market Instability: Do Sovereign Ratings Affect Country Risk and Stock Returns?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 171-195, August.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo, 1996. "The new wave of private capital inflows: Push or pull?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 389-418, March.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Reinhart, Vincent, 2002. "Is a G-3 Target Zone on Target for Emerging Markets?," MPRA Paper 7581, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. John Williamson, 1986. "Target Zones and the Management of the Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 165-174.
  6. Eduardo Borensztein & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices," IMF Working Papers 94/9, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Carmen M. Reinhart, 1995. "Devaluation, Relative Prices, and International Trade: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(2), pages 290-312, June.
  8. Kaminsky, G.L. & Lewis, K.K., 1992. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Signal Future Monetary Policy?," Weiss Center Working Papers 93-3, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  9. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000. "Las crisis gemelas: las causas de los problemas bancarios y de balanza de pagos
    [The twin crises: Te causes of banking and balance of payments problems]
    ," MPRA Paper 13842, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jeffrey Frankel & Sergio Schmukler & Luis Serven, 2000. "Verifiability and the Vanishing Intermediate Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 7901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1993. "Does Foreign-Exchange Intervention Matter? The Portfolio Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1356-69, December.
  12. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "Af1uencia de capital y apreciacion del tipo de cambio real en America Latina: E1 papel de los factores externos
    [Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of Ex
    ," MPRA Paper 13681, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2001. "What Hurts Most? G-3 Exchange Rate or Interest Rate Volatility," NBER Working Papers 8535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Sovereign Credit Ratings Before and After Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 7410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Richard H. Clarida, 1999. "G3 Exchange Rate Relationships: A Recap of the Record and a Review of Proposals for Change," NBER Working Papers 7434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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