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International Medium of Exchange: Privilege and Duty

Author

Listed:
  • Ryan Chahrour

    (Boston College)

  • Rosen Valchev

    (Boston College)

Abstract

The United States enjoys an “exorbitant privilege” that allows it to borrow at especially low interest rates. Meanwhile, the dollarization of world trade appears to shield the U.S. from international disturbances. We provide a new theory that links dollarization and exorbitant privilege through the need for an international medium of exchange. We consider a two-country world where international trade happens in decentralized matching markets, and must be collateralized by safe assets — a.k.a. currencies — issued by one of the two countries. Traders have an incentive to coordinate their currency choices and a single dominant currency arises in equilibrium. With small heterogeneity in traders’ information, the model delivers a unique mapping from economic conditions to the dominant currency. Nevertheless, the model delivers a dynamic multiplicity: in steady-state either currency can serve as the international medium of exchange. The economy with the dominant currency enjoys lower interest rates and the ability to run current account deficits indefinitely. Currency regimes are stable, but sufficiently large shocks or policy changes can lead to transitions, with large welfare implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan Chahrour & Rosen Valchev, 2018. "International Medium of Exchange: Privilege and Duty," 2018 Meeting Papers 317, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:317
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. International Medium of Exchange: Privilege and Duty
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-10-10 14:52:26

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    Cited by:

    1. Matteo Maggiori & Brent Neiman & Jesse Schreger, 2020. "International Currencies and Capital Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(6), pages 2019-2066.
    2. Matteo Maggiori & Brent Neiman & Jesse Schreger, 2019. "The Rise of the Dollar and Fall of the Euro as International Currencies," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 521-526, May.
    3. Gita Gopinath & Jeremy C Stein, 2021. "Banking, Trade, and the Making of a Dominant Currency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(2), pages 783-830.
    4. Egemen Eren & Semyon Malamud, 2018. "Dominant Currency Debt," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 18-55, Swiss Finance Institute.
    5. Jiang, Zhengyang & Krishnamurthy, Arvind & Lustig, Hanno, 2018. "Dollar Safety and the Global Financial Cycle," Research Papers 3747, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    6. Eren, Egemen & Malamud, Semyon, 2022. "Dominant currency debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 571-589.
    7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey & Maxime Sauzet, 2019. "The International Monetary and Financial System," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 859-893, August.
    8. Rosen Valchev, 2020. "Bond Convenience Yields and Exchange Rate Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 124-166, April.
    9. Konstantin Egorov & Dmitry Mukhin, 2019. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Dollar Pricing," 2019 Meeting Papers 1510, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Vania Stavrakeva & Jenny Tang, 2018. "The dollar during the global recession: US monetary policy and the exorbitant duty," Working Papers 18-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    11. Maggiori, Matteo, 2021. "International Macroeconomics With Imperfect Financial Markets," SocArXiv z8g6r, Center for Open Science.
    12. Emmanuel Farhi & Matteo Maggiori, 2019. "China vs. U.S.: IMS Meets IPS," NBER Working Papers 25469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Liu, Tao & Lu, Dong & Woo, Wing Thye, 2019. "Trade, finance and international currency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 374-413.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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