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Financial contagion, interest rates and the role of the exchange rate as shock absorber in Central and Eastern Europe

Author

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  • Maurizio Michael Habib

    (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of external factors on daily exchange rates and short-term interest rates in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland during the period August 1997 – May 2001. I find that neither exchange rates nor interest rates are influenced by short-term German interest rates. Nevertheless, I show that shocks to emerging-market risk premia had a significant impact on exchange rates in all three Central and Eastern European count-ries and on interest rates in the Czech Republic. In addition, studying the second moment of the variables, I demonstrate that Czech and Polish exchange rates were affected by ‘vo- latility contagion’ coming from emerging markets. I find also some partial support for the ‘volatility contagion’ hypothesis on Czech interest rates. These findings shed some doubts on the alleged theoretical ability of a floating exchange rate – such as in the Czech Repub-lic – to absorb external shocks and insulate a country's domestic monetary policy comple-tely. However, the spill-over effect on Czech interest rates might be explained by the ‘ma-naged’ nature of the exchange rate regime, thereby re-establishing some credibility of the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Michael Habib, 2002. "Financial contagion, interest rates and the role of the exchange rate as shock absorber in Central and Eastern Europe," International Finance 0209004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0209004
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; pages: 46; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Coricelli & Bostjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2004. "Linfluence du régime de change sur linflation dans les pays adhérents," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 163(2), pages 51-61.
    2. Jacek Rostowski, 2003. "When Should the Central Europeans Join EMU?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0253, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Fabrizio Coricelli & Bo??tjan Jazbec & Igor Masten, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and Inflation in Acceding Countries: The Role of Pass-through," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-674, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. Fabrizio CORICELLI & Bostjan JAZBEC & Igor MASTEN, 2004. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Acceding Countries: The Role of Exchange Rate Regimes," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/16, European University Institute.
    5. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Jazbec, Bostjan & Masten, Igor, 2003. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in Candidate Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3894, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Sébastien Wälti, 2003. "Contagion and interdependence among Central European economies: the impact of common external shocks," IHEID Working Papers 02-2003, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    exchange rates; short-term interest rates; volatility; the Czech Republic; Hungary; Poland;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F49 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Other
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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