Exchange Rate Regime, Real Misalignment and Currency Crises
Based on 69 sample countries, this paper examines the effect of macroeconomic fundamentals on real effective exchange rates (REER) in these sample countries. Using the misalignment of actual REER from its equilibrium level, we have estimated the factors explaining the extent of currency over- or under-valuation. Overall, we find that the higher the flexibility of the currency regime, the lower is the misalignment. The estimates are robust to different sub-samples of countries. We then explore the impact of such misalignment on the probability of a currency crisis in the next period, indicating the extent to which misalignment could be used as a leading indicator of a potential crisis. This paper thus makes a new contribution to the debate on the choice of exchange rate regime by bringing together real exchange rate misalignment and currency crisis literature.
Optimum Currency Areas in Emerging Market Regions: Evidence Based on the Symmetry of Economic Shocks
Open Economies Review,
This paper examines which emerging market regions form optimum currency areas (OCAs) by assessing the symmetry of macroeconomic shocks. We extend the output-prices-VAR framework by adding net exports and the real effective exchange rate as endogenous variables. Based on theoretical considerations, we derive which shocks affect these variables in the long run: shocks to labor productivity, foreign trade, labor supply, and money supply. The considered economies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, East and Southeast Asia, and South Asia, exhibit large enough shock symmetry to form a currency union; the economies of Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East do not.
Macroeconomic Shocks and Banks' Foreign Assets
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Recent developments in international financial markets have highlighted the role of banks in the transmission of shocks across borders. We employ dynamic panel methods for a sample of OECD countries to analyze whether banks' foreign assets react to macroeconomic shocks at home and abroad. We find that banks reduce their foreign assets in response to a relative increase in domestic interest rates, and they increase their foreign assets when the growth rate of world energy prices rises. The responses are characterized by a temporal overshooting and a dynamic adjustment process that extends over several quarters.
Low Skill but High Volatility?
CESifo Working Paper No. 2665,
Globalization may impose a double-burden on low-skilled workers. On the one hand, the relative supply of low-skilled labor increases. This suppresses wages of low-skilled workers and/or increases their unemployment rates. On the other hand, low-skilled workers typically face more limited access to financial markets than high-skilled workers. This limits their ability to smooth shocks to income intertemporally and to share risks across borders. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970 - 2004, we document how the volatility of hours worked and of wages of workers at different skill levels has changed over time. We develop a stylized theoretical model that is consistent with the empirical evidence, and we test the predictions of the model. Our results show that greater financial globalization and development increases the volatility of employment, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers. A higher share of low-skilled employment has a dampening impact.
Regional origins of employment volatility: evidence from German states
CES IFO Working Paper No. 2296,
Greater openness for trade can have positive welfare effects in terms of higher growth. But increased openness may also increase uncertainty through a higher volatility of employment. We use regional data from Germany to test whether openness for trade has an impact on volatility. We find a downward trend in the unconditional volatility of employment, paralleling patterns for output volatility. The conditional volatility of employment, measuring idiosyncratic developments across states, in contrast, has remained fairly unchanged. In contrast to evidence for the US, we do not find a significant link between employment volatility and trade openness.