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Inside the Impossible Triangle: Monetary Policy Autonomy in a Credible Target Zone

  • W. Jos Jansen

    (De Nederlandsche Bank)

This paper examines the trade-off between exchange rate stability and monetary autonomy for a target zone. Using the guilder-mark target zone in the pre-EMU period as a case study, we empirically estimate how much policy discretion the Dutch central bank still enjoyed and how much had been ceded to the German central bank. The sum of these two measures is an estimate of the policy autonomy under a free float. We find that the narrow guilder-mark target zone still permitted a modest degree of policy independence. This result suggests that intermediate exchange rate regimes may offer an attractive trade-off compared to the corner solutions (free float and monetary union), which is consistent with the ‘fear of floating’ phenomenon.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0312009.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 24 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0312009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC Win98; to print on Deskjet, A4 paper; pages: 18; figures: within document
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 5191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
  3. E.O. Svensson, Lars, 1994. "Why exchange rate bands? : Monetary independence in spite of fixed exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 157-199, February.
  4. Faust, Jon & Leeper, Eric M, 1997. "When Do Long-Run Identifying Restrictions Give Reliable Results?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 345-53, July.
  5. Garretsen, Harry & Swank, Job, 1998. "The Transmission of Interest Rate Changes and the Role of Bank Balance Sheets: A VAR-Analysis for the Netherlands," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 325-339, April.
  6. Fank Smets, 1997. "Measuring Monetary Policy Shocks in France, Germany and Italy: The Role of The Exchange Rate," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(III), pages 597-616, September.
  7. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles Wyplosz, 1997. "EMU: Why and How It Might Happen," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 3-21, Fall.
  9. Frank A.G. den Butter & Robert H.J. Mosch, 2003. "The Dutch Miracle: Institutions, Networks, and Trust," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 362-, June.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2005. "The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs Among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 423-438, August.
  11. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Sergio L. Schmukler & Luis Serven, 2002. "Global Transmission of Interest Rates: Monetary Independence and Currency Regime," NBER Working Papers 8828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "EMU: Ready or Not?," Princeton Essays in International Economics 209, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  13. Jeffrey Frankel & Sergio Schmukler & Luis Serven, 2000. "Verifiability and the Vanishing Intermediate Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 7901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ramana Ramaswamy & Torsten Sløk, 1998. "The Real Effects of Monetary Policy in the European Union: What Are the Differences?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 374-396, June.
  15. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the flow of funds," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Apr.
  17. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," NBER Working Papers 6150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2002. "The Euro bloc, the Dollar bloc and the Yen bloc: how much monetary policy independence can exchange rate flexibility buy in an interdependent world?," Working Paper Series 0154, European Central Bank.
  19. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1997. "The role of banks in monetary policy: a survey with implications for the European Monetary Union," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Sep, pages 2-18.
  20. Kumah, F.Y., 1996. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates : How to Solve the Puzzles," Discussion Paper 1996-70, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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