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Interest-rate Defenses of Currency Pegs

  • Juan Sole

This paper studies a policy often used to defend a currency peg: raising short-term interest rates. The rationale for this policy is to stem demand for foreign reserves. Yet, this mechanism is absent from most monetary models. This paper develops a general equilibrium model with asset market frictions where this policy can be effective. The friction I emphasize is the same as in Lucas (1990): money is required for asset transactions. When the government raises domestic interest rates, agents want to increase their holdings of domestic currency in order to acquire more domestic-currency-denominated assets. Thus, agents do not run on the reserves of the central bank, and the peg survives. A key implication of the model is that an interest rate defense can always be successful, but at great costs for domestic agents. Hence the reluctance of governments to sustain this policy for long periods of time.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 306.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:306
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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  1. Kraay, Aart, 2000. "Do high interest rates defend currencies during speculative attacks ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2267, The World Bank.
  2. Robert P. Flood & Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Uncovered Interest Parity in Crisis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 6.
  3. Menzie D. Chinn & Michael P. Dooley, 1997. "Asia Pacific Capital Markets: Integration and Implications for Economic Activity," NBER Chapters, in: Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6, pages 169-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kumhof, Michael, 2001. "International Capital Mobility in Emerging Markets: New Evidence from Daily Data," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 626-40, November.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
  6. Grilli, Vittorio & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Liquidity and exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 339-352, May.
  7. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1985. "Floating exchange rates with liquidity constraints in financial markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 99-117, August.
  8. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  9. Allan Drazen, 2003. "Interest Rate Defense against Speculative Attack as a Signal. A Primer," NBER Chapters, in: Managing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 37-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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