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A Fundamental Theory of Exchange Rates and Direct Currency Trades


  • Allen Head

    () (Queen's University)

  • Shouyong Shi

    (Queen's University)


In this paper we construct a two-country search monetary model to determine the nominal exchange rate between two fiat monies. Our model imposes natural restrictions on agents' opportunities for arbitrage. These restrictions bind when the gross growth rates of the two currency stocks exceed the discount factor. In this case the nominal exchange rate is determinate and depends on economic fundamentals of the two countries' economies, including the stocks and growth rates of the two monies. The model generates essential, direct currency-for-currency exchanges, which imply a nominal exchange rate that is different from the relative price between the two currencies in the goods markets. Unless the stocks of the two monies remain constant, there are persistent violations of the law of one price and purchasing power parity in equilibrium despite the fact that prices are perfectly flexible and all goods are tradeable between countries. Nominal and real exchange rates can move together in the steady state in response to money growth shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen Head & Shouyong Shi, 2000. "A Fundamental Theory of Exchange Rates and Direct Currency Trades," Working Papers 993, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:993

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ben R. Craig & Christopher J. Waller, 1999. "Currency portfolios and nominal exchange rates in a dual currency search economy," Working Paper 9916, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    2. Shi, Shouyong, 1998. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 314-352, August.
    3. Green, Edward J. & Zhou, Ruilin, 1998. "A Rudimentary Random-Matching Model with Divisible Money and Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 252-271, August.
    4. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
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    8. Shi, Shouyong, 1999. "Search, inflation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 81-103, August.
    9. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
    10. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
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    16. Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Peck, James, 1990. "Exchange Rate Volatility in an Equilibrium Asset Pricing Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 559-574, August.
    17. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
    18. Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
    19. Betts, Caroline & Devereux, Michael B., 2000. "Exchange rate dynamics in a model of pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 215-244, February.
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    More about this item


    Exchange Rates; Search; Currency Trade; Money;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory


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