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Identifying the Efficacy of Central Bank Interventions: The Australian Case

  • Jonathan Kearns
  • Roberto Rigobon

The endogeneity of exchange rates and intervention has long plagued studies of the effectiveness of central banks actions in foreign exchange markets. Researchers have either excluded contemporaneous intervention, so that their explanators are predetermined, or obtained a small, and typically incorrectly signed, coefficient on contemporaneous intervention. Failing to account for the endogeneity, when central banks lean against the wind and trade strategically, will likely result in a large downward bias to the coefficient on contemporaneous intervention -- explaining the negative coefficient frequently obtained. We use an alternative identification assumption, a change in Reserve Bank of Australia intervention policy, that allows us to estimate, using simulated GMM, a model that includes the contemporaneous impact of intervention. There are three main results. Our point estimates suggest that central bank intervention has a economically significant contemporaneous effect. A $US100m purchase of the domestic currency will appreciate the exchange rate by 1.35 to 1.81 per cent. This estimate is remarkably similar to the calibration conducted by Dominguez and Frankel (1993), who themselves noted their estimate was larger than previous empirical findings. Secondly, the vast majority of the effect of an intervention on the exchange rate is found to occur during the day in which it is conducted, with only a smaller impact on subsequent days. Finally, we confirm findings that Australian central bank intervention policy can be characterized by leaning aginst the wind.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9062.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Publication status: published as Kearns, Jonathan and Roberto Rigobon. "Identifying The Efficacy Of Central Bank Interventions: Evidence From Australia And Japan," Journal of International Economics, 2005, v66(1,May), 31-48.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9062
Note: IFM ME
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  1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1996. "Does foreign exchange intervention signal future monetary policy?," Working Papers 96-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Dominguez, Kathryn M., 1998. "Central bank intervention and exchange rate volatility1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 161-190, February.
  3. Christopher J. Neely, 1998. "Technical analysis and the profitability of U.S. foreign exchange intervention," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 3-17.
  4. Vitale, Paolo, 1999. "Sterilised central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 245-267, December.
  5. Chang, Yuanchen & Taylor, Stephen J., 1998. "Intraday effects of foreign exchange intervention by the Bank of Japan1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 191-210, February.
  6. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Wong, Clement Yuk-Pang, 2000. "A survey of market practitioners' views on exchange rate dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 401-419, August.
  7. Anna J. Schwartz, 2000. "The Rise and Fall of Foreign Exchange Market Intervention," NBER Working Papers 7751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christopher J. Neely, 2001. "The practice of central bank intervention: looking under the hood," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 1-10.
  9. Baillie, Richard T. & P. Osterberg, William, 1997. "Central bank intervention and risk in the forward market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 483-497, November.
  10. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Weller, Paul, 1997. "The advantage to hiding one's hand: Speculation and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 251-277, July.
  11. Jeff M. Rogers & Pierre Siklos, 2001. "Foreign Exchange Market Intervention in Two Small Open Economies: The Canadian and Australian Experience," Research Paper Series 57, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
  13. Dominguez, Kathryn M. E., 2003. "The market microstructure of central bank intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 25-45, January.
  14. Bonser-Neal, Catherine & Tanner, Glenn, 1996. "Central bank intervention and the volatility of foreign exchange rates: evidence from the options market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 853-878, December.
  15. Mark P. Taylor & Lucio Sarno, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective and, If So, How Does It Work?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 839-868, September.
  16. Robert Andrew & John Broadbent, 1994. "Reserve Bank Operations in the Foreign Exchange Market: Effectiveness and Profitability," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9406, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  17. Lewis, Karen K, 1995. "Occasional Interventions to Target Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 691-715, September.
  18. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, . "Is Intervention a Signal of Future Monetary Policy? Evidence from the Federal Funds Futures Market," EPRU Working Paper Series 96-13, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  19. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1990. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Work?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 16.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2001. "Portfolio Balance, Price Impact, and Secret Intervention," NBER Working Papers 8356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Fischer, Andreas M & Zurlinden, Mathias, 1999. "Exchange Rate Effects of Central Bank Interventions: An Analysis of Transaction Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 662-76, October.
  24. Almekinders, Geert J. & Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W., 1996. "A friction model of daily Bundesbank and Federal Reserve intervention," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1365-1380, September.
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