nep-ifn New Economics Papers
on International Finance
Issue of 2011‒08‒29
five papers chosen by
Ajay Shah
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  1. Exchange rate misalignments: A comparison of China today against recent historical experiences of Japan, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan By ´He, Xinhua; Qin, Duo; Liu, Yimeng
  2. China’s new exchange rate regime, optimal basket currency and currency diversification By Zhang, Zhichao; Shi, Nan; Zhang, Xiaoli
  3. Understanding the Recent Surge in the Accumulation of International Reserves By Petar Vujanovic
  4. Global Imbalances, Exchange Rate Pegs and Capital Flows: A Closer Look By Paul van den Noord
  5. Gross capital flows : dynamics and crises By Broner, Fernando; Didier, Tatiana; Erce, Aitor; Schmukler, Sergio L.

  1. By: ´He, Xinhua (BOFIT); Qin, Duo (BOFIT); Liu, Yimeng (BOFIT)
    Abstract: The familiar claim of Chinese currency manipulation is generally asserted without reference to empirical evidence. To investigate the legitimacy of the claim, we ask if the undervalued misalignment found in the real effective exchange rate (REER) of the Chinese renminbi (RMB) over the past decade has any recent historical precedents. Four cases are examined: the Japanese yen, the Deutsche mark, the Singapore dollar and the Taiwan dollar. Panel-based misalignment estimates of the REER of the four currencies are obtained using quarterly data from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. Our estimates suggest that there are precedents to the recent misalignment of the RMB in terms of magnitude, duration or breadth of currency coverage, and that a net build-up in foreign asset does not necessarily result in currency misalignment. In addition to finding little empirical justification for the claim of Chinese currency manipulation, we note that REER misalignment runs a risk of propagating inflation in the home economy.
    Keywords: REER misalignment; RMB; yen; D-mark; Singapore dollar; Taiwan dollar
    JEL: C23 F31 F41 O57
    Date: 2011–08–22
  2. By: Zhang, Zhichao (BOFIT); Shi, Nan (BOFIT); Zhang, Xiaoli (BOFIT)
    Abstract: We build an optimising framework to analyse a class of economies that adopt an ECU-type basket currency while in transition to increased flexibility of the exchange rate regime. Instead of conventional basket pegging, such an economy uses an ECU-type currency index as a benchmark for monitoring and assessing exchange rate movements. This provides an anchoring device for the nations exchange rate regime and allows the home currencys exchange rate to fluctuate. Under the assumption that the central bank is chiefly interested in maintaining stability, the optimal structure of the basket currency is based on its contribution to minimizing the volatility of the countrys external account. A currency invariance index is applied to capture the effect of the countrys exit from exclusive linkage with the US dollar. The approach is illustrated by Chinese exchange rate policy. We find it advisable and viable for China to form a basket currency with a diversified portfolio of currencies. While the portfolios weighting scheme could favour the dollar, euro and Japanese yen, we show that the composition of the basket is open to a wide range of possibilities. Moreover, contrary to general fears, there is considerable potential for China to engage in currency diversification, which will not necessarily affect the dollars position.
    Keywords: basket currency; currency diversification; China
    JEL: E58 F31 P45
    Date: 2011–08–22
  3. By: Petar Vujanovic
    Abstract: This paper looks at the empirical determinates of foreign currency reserve holdings across a panel of around 130 countries between 1980 and 2008. The paper builds on the existing literature by adopting a panel error-correction model specification and by extending the sample to include the recent period that saw a continuing acceleration in the accumulation of reserves in many countries. The results of the analysis suggest that the levels of trade and domestic financial depth are robust determinates of the level of reserves in the long run, particularly over the past decade and a half. The estimations also find that changes in GDP, the exchange rate regime, exchange rate volatility, and financial openness can all have permanent one-off effects on the level of reserves. Furthermore, country fixed effects are found to be significant, suggesting that time-invariant country specific factors are important in explaining the variance in reserve holdings across countries. Nevertheless, several countries stick out in terms of holding reserves well in excess of that implied by these empirical results, above all in recent years. Among these countries, China and Japan are particularly notable, especially when the deviation from average behaviour is expressed in dollar terms.<P>Comprendre la récente accélération de l'accumulation de réserves internationales<BR>Ce document est consacré à l’étude des déterminants économétriques des réserves de change de 1980 à 2008 à partir d’un panel de quelque 130 pays. Il s’appuie sur les publications existantes en adoptant un modèle à correction d’erreurs sur données de panel et en élargissant l’échantillon de façon à couvrir la période récente qui a été marquée par une accélération continue de l’accumulation de réserves dans de nombreux pays. Les résultats de l’analyse tendent à montrer que le volume des échanges commerciaux et la profondeur du système financier national sont des déterminants robustes du volume des réserves sur le long terme, en particulier depuis une quinzaine d’années. Les estimations permettent aussi de constater que des changements en matière de PIB, de régime de change, d’instabilité des cours de change ou d’ouverture financière sont autant de facteurs ponctuels qui peuvent produire un effet permanent sur le volume des réserves. En outre, on observe des effets fixes significatifs spécifiques aux pays, ce qui suggère que des facteurs spécifiques à des pays et invariants dans le temps sont importants pour expliquer la variance des réserves de change entre différents pays. Néanmoins, plusieurs pays continuent à détenir des réserves très supérieures à ce qu’impliquent ces résultats économétriques, surtout ces dernières années. Parmi ces pays, on retiendra en particulier la Chine et le Japon, surtout lorsque l’on exprime en dollars l’écart que présentent ces pays avec le comportement moyen.
    Keywords: trade, current account, crisis, central banks, reserves, foreign currency, money supply, sudden stop, balance courante, banque centrale, crise, échanges commerciaux, réserves, changes, masse monétaire, arrêt brutal
    JEL: E44 E58 F21 F31 F36 F41 N10 O24
    Date: 2011–05–24
  4. By: Paul van den Noord
    Abstract: This paper presents a stylised model in which either a savings glut or an exchange rate peg in emerging economies drives down the level of interest rates in advanced economies and, when it hits the zero-rate bound, produces a welfare loss. It shows that structural reform in the pursuit of better social protection and financial markets in the emerging economies reduces this negative welfare spillover. An extension of the model with the short-run dynamics of exchange-rate and capital movements shows that adverse asymmetric shocks can lead to a race to the bottom of interest rates. In that case the global coordination of monetary policies is welfare enhancing for both groups of economies. However, the coordinated equilibrium is unstable, which indicates that strong pre-commitment arrangements are required to maintain coordination. This disadvantage diminishes if structural reform is adopted to reduce the volatility in capital flows.<P>Les déséquilibres mondiaux, l'arrimage des taux de changes et les mouvements de capitaux : examen à la loupe<BR>Ce document présente un modèle simplifié dans lequel une surabondance de l’épargne ou un mécanisme d’arrimage des taux de change dans des économies émergentes fait baisser le niveau des taux d’intérêt dans les économies avancées et aboutit, lorsque l’on se heurte à la limite des taux nuls, à une perte de bien-être. Il montre que les réformes structurelles visant à améliorer la protection sociale et les marchés de capitaux dans les économies émergentes réduisent ces retombées négatives sur le bien-être. Un élargissement du modèle tenant compte de la dynamique de court terme des taux de change et des mouvements de capitaux montre que des chocs asymétriques négatifs peuvent déboucher sur une surenchère à la baisse des taux d’intérêt. Dans ce cas, une coordination mondiale des politiques monétaires améliore le bien-être des deux groupes d’économies. Toutefois, l’équilibre résultant de cette coordination est instable, ce qui indique la nécessité de solides engagements préalables visant à maintenir la coordination. Ce désavantage diminue en cas d’adoption de réformes structurelles permettant de réduire la volatilité des mouvements de capitaux.
    Keywords: exchange rates, capital flows, global imbalances, taux de change, flux de capitaux, déséquilibres mondiaux
    JEL: E52 F31 F59
    Date: 2011–04–08
  5. By: Broner, Fernando; Didier, Tatiana; Erce, Aitor; Schmukler, Sergio L.
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the joint behavior of international capital flows by foreign and domestic agents -- gross capital flows -- over the business cycle and during financial crises. The authors show that gross capital flows are very large and volatile, especially relative to net capital flows. When foreigners invest in a country, domestic agents tend to invest abroad, and vice versa. Gross capital flows are also pro-cyclical, with foreigners investing more in the country and domestic agents investing more abroad during expansions. During crises, especially during severe ones, there is retrenchment, that is, a reduction in both capital inflows by foreigners and capital outflows by domestic agents. This evidence sheds light on the nature of shocks driving capital flows and helps discriminate among existing theories. The findings seem consistent with shocks that affect foreign and domestic agents asymmetrically, such as sovereign risk and asymmetric information.
    Keywords: Emerging Markets,Macroeconomic Management,Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Capital Flows
    Date: 2011–08–01

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