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A typology of foreign exchange auction markets in sub-Saharan Africa : dynamic models for auction exchange rates

  • Aron, Janine
  • Elbadawi, Ibrahim

In this analytical sequel to"A Typology of Foreign Exchange Auction Markets in sub-Saharan Africa", the authors compare the micromanagement of different foreign exchange auctions in sub-Saharan Africa. Multi-unit auctions for foreign exchange were introduced in a number of countries in the 1980s and 1990s, in a transitional step toward a credible, sustainable, unified regime, such as efficient interbank market. But there is little understanding of how auction markets function in sub-Saharan Africa, and there has been virtually no research on the causes of frequent policy reversals or of auction failure. One possible cause of failure -- apart from thin markets, macroeconomic laxity, and vulnerability to terms-of-trade shocks and fluctuations in the disbursement of foreign aid -- is the inappropriate design and management of auctions. The authors estimate models for the microdeterminants of the auction rate, using weekly data on foreign exchange auctions for Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia. Among the policy lessons: 1) Nigeria and Zambia failed to unify and stabilize the exchange rate partly because there was no reserve price rule. When bidders learn such a rule, speculative bidding diminishes. 2) The management of a credible, sustainable reserve price policy requires an efficient secondary market. A simple underlying model, synthesized from the theoretical literature on auctions, specifies the auction rate as a function of fundamental variables and structural shift dummies. The repeated, sequential nature of these multi-unit auctions and the nonstationary nature of most of the auction variables are captured empirically by a cointegrated (error connection) framework. In addition to consistently estimating long-run and short-run parameters of auction fundamentals, the error correction model allows asymptotically efficient testing of three policy hypotheses deriving from auction theory: the competitiveness hypothesis, the effect of uncertainty on the auction-determined rate, and the revenue-equivalence hypothesis. In other words, they used these models to test the impact on the level of the auction rate of increased comptetition among bidders, of the effect of uncertainty (proxied by a volatile supply of foreign exchange), and of different pricing mechanisms.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1396.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1396
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  1. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
  2. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  3. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1987. "Auctions and Bidding," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 699-738, June.
  4. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Eric S. Maskin & John G. Riley, 1985. "Auction Theory with Private Values," UCLA Economics Working Papers 359, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Ossard, Hervé & Vuong, Quang, 1991. "Econometrics of First-Price Auctions," IDEI Working Papers 7, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Harstad, Ronald M. & Kagel, John H. & Levin, Dan, 1990. "Equilibrium bid functions for auctions with an uncertain number of bidders," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-40, May.
  9. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1988. "Reputation in repeated second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-119, October.
  10. Brannman, Lance & Klein, J Douglass & Weiss, Leonard W, 1987. "The Price Effects of Increased Competition in Auction Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 24-32, February.
  11. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard, 1988. "Revenue equivalence in multi-object auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 15-19.
  12. Kenneth A. Froot & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 3091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Porter, Robert H & Zona, J Douglas, 1993. "Detection of Bid Rigging in Procurement Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 518-38, June.
  15. Phillips, Peter C B & Hansen, Bruce E, 1990. "Statistical Inference in Instrumental Variables Regression with I(1) Processes," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 99-125, January.
  16. Phillips, P C B, 1988. "Reflections on Econometric Methodology," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(187), pages 344-59, December.
  17. Banerjee, Anindya & Dolado, Juan J. & Galbraith, John W. & Hendry, David, 1993. "Co-integration, Error Correction, and the Econometric Analysis of Non-Stationary Data," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288107.
  18. Hansen, Robert G, 1985. "Empirical Testing of Auction Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 156-59, May.
  19. Paarsch, Harry J., 1992. "Deciding between the common and private value paradigms in empirical models of auctions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 191-215.
  20. Aron, Janine & Elbadawi, Ibrahim A., 1992. "Parallel markets, the foreign exchange auction, and exchange rate unification in Zambia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 909, The World Bank.
  21. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  22. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
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