Journal Article

Does central bank intervention stabilize foreign exchange rates?


Abstract: Since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate system in 1973, central banks of most industrialized countries have continued to intervene in foreign exchange markets. One reason is that exchange rate volatility has increased. To reduce volatility, many European countries have agreed to keep exchange rates within a band around a target exchange rate, implementing this policy by intervening in foreign exchange markets when necessary. Even without an explicit exchange rate commitment, countries such as the United States and Japan have intervened in foreign exchange markets to help stabilize exchange rates.> Opinions differ on whether central banks can stabilize exchange rates. Some analysts believe central bank intervention can reduce exchange rate volatility by stopping speculative attacks against a currency. Other analysts, though, believe central bank intervention may increase volatility if the intervention contributes to market uncertainty or encourages speculative attacks against the currency.> Bonser-Neal presents empirical evidence on this controversy. Her evidence suggests that central bank intervention does not generally reduce exchange rate volatility. Rather, central bank intervention typically appears to have had little effect on volatility.

Keywords: Banks and banking, Central; Foreign exchange rates;

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File(s): File format is application/pdf http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/econrev/pdf/1q96bons.pdf

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Part of Series: Economic Review

Publication Date: 1996

Volume: 81

Issue: Q I

Pages: 43-57