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Macroeconomic Adjustment under Bretton Woods and the Post-Bretton-Woods Float: An Impulse-Response Analysis

  • Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen.

We use time-series methods to estimate a simple aggregate-supply aggregate-demand model in order to analyze the comparative performance of fixed- and flexible-exchange-rate systems and test competing hypotheses designed to explain shifts between exchange-rate regimes. The paper provides a coherent explanation of the causes and consequences of the shift from the Bretton Woods System of pegged exchange rates to the post-Bretton-Woods float. The shift from fixed to floating was associated with a modest increase in the cross-country dispersion of supply shocks but not with an increase in their average magnitude. In contrast, there was little change in either the cross-country dispersion or the average magnitude of demand shocks. More important in explaining the collapse of Bretton Woods were factors that heightened the impact of shocks on the external accounts, forcing governments to respond to supply shocks with changes in demand that stabilized prices and the exchange rate at the expense of increased output volatility.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C93-006.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1993
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c93-006
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Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/ciderwp.htm
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  1. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1992. "Is There a Conflict Between EC Enlargement and European Monetary Unification?," Economics Working Papers 92-188, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1992. "Shocking Aspects of European Monetary Unification," Economics Working Papers 92-187, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 644-52, June.
  4. Hans Genberg & Alexander Swoboda, 1993. "The Provision of Liquidity in the Bretton Woods System," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 269-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barry Eichengreen, 1992. "Three Perspectives on the Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 4141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "Shocking Aspects of Monetary Unification," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt791143kp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  10. Marianne Baxter & Alan C. Stockman, 1988. "Business Cycles and the Exchange Rate System: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 3-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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