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Christian Thimann

28 February 2002
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 2
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Abstract
This paper details the methodological framework underlying the construction of the effective exchange rate (EER) indicators of the euro. This framework yields two sets of indicators - (i) one nominal and several real EER indices against a narrow reference group of euro area trading partners based on different price and cost deflators; and (ii) a nominal and a real EER index against a broad reference group of countries based on consumer prices. The narrow group consists of 12 industrial and newly industrialised euro area partner countries, while the broad group is made up of 38 trading partners including emerging market economies and economies in transition. In addition the paper computes national competitiveness indicators for the individual euro area participating countries. Finally, recent developments in the international price and cost competitiveness of the euro area as well as of euro area countries are briefly discussed on the basis of the constructed indices.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
1 March 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 132
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Abstract
This paper examines inflation dynamics in the current EU-accession countries in central and eastern Europe, focusing particularly on the determinants of 'dual inflation', that is, diverging inflation rates for tradable and non-tradable goods. The paper draws on the recently published data for the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) of the Accession countries and, indeed, finds evidence of ' dual inflation' in these economies. To test empirically for underlying determinants, the paper borrows from the recently developed New Phillips curve literature. Overall, domestic factors have systematically a stronger impact upon non-tradable goods inflation whereas international factors have a stronger impact over tradable goods. Furthermore, the results point to the possibly very different effects of exchange rate regimes over tradable and non-tradable goods inflation. On the whole, the findings suggest that the Balassa-Samuelson effect is not a prominent factor behind the current 'experience' of dual inflation in these countries.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
P24 : Economic Systems→Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies→National Income, Product, and Expenditure, Money, Inflation
28 December 2002
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 7
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Abstract
This paper reviews the economic, monetary and financial relations between the EU and the euro area and a set of countries in a broad set of neighbouring regions. The 80 or so countries are mostly classified as transition, emerging or developing economies and belong to four main regions: the Western Balkans; the European part of the Commonwealth of Independent States; the Middle East and Northern Africa; and Sub-Saharan Africa. In many respects, these countries are diverse; however, some common features can also be identified. One of these common features is the fact that the euro area is their largest trading partner and the largest originator of international bank credit, foreign direct investment and official development assistance; meanwhile, from a euro area perspective, while these countries account for a somewhat smaller share of external trade, they are important as providers of energy, other raw materials and agricultural products.
29 February 2004
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 11
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Official and unilateral dollarisation/euroisation has become a common policy advice for emerging market economies. Against this background, the paper provides a comprehensive review of all the main cases of dollarisation/euroisation, analysing motives, features and policy implications of this exchange rate regime. The main results are that policies fostering integration with the anchor country, in particular fiscal transfers, tourism and offshore finance, have been crucial in supporting the exchange rate regime. To this end, most dollarised/euroised countries have exploited advantages that are largely prior to the choice of exchange rate regime, namely their small size, geographic proximity to the anchor country, and politically dependent status. Thus, recommending dollarisation/euroisation irrespective of countries’ ex ante degree of integration with the potential anchor country seems to bear considerable risks, as dollarisation/euroisation does not seem to be a straightforward substitute for integration.
29 February 2004
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 10
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Abstract
This paper reviews the strategies announced by the ten countries joining the European Union in May 2004 with regard to their intentions for participation in ERM II and the adoption of the euro. The paper examines the economic rationale of the monetary integration strategies declared by most acceding countries with a view to identifying also their potential risks. It does so by making use of several different approaches, including a short review of nominal convergence and a more extensive discussion from an optimum currency area perspective. An important part of the analysis is devoted to the implications of real convergence – i.e. catching-up growth in income and adjustment of the real economic structures towards those prevailing in the euro area – on the patterns of economic dynamics in acceding countries. Other aspects covered are the risks for external competitiveness in the convergence process and the appropriate pace of fiscal consolidation.
1 July 2005
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 32
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Abstract
Financial crises in emerging market economies are often accompanied by difficulties of the sovereign to honour its contractual obligations. The official sector may reduce the likelihood of a disorderly outcome by extending financial assistance but there are limits to official sector involvement, not least because the potential volume of IMF lending is small compared to private capital flows and because a large "bail out" by the official sector would lead to moral hazard. For both these reasons - limited official funds and moral hazard - private sector creditors need to share some of the financial burden and thereby actively get involved in the management of financial crises in emerging market economies. The purpose of this report is to review the instruments that may promote such private creditor involvement as well as to provide a stock-taking of past experience and identify areas of possible improvement to the framework for crisis resolution.
JEL Code
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
27 October 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 685
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Abstract
This paper focuses on the role of real exchange rate volatility as a driver of portfolio home bias, and in particular as an explanation for differences in home bias across financial assets. We present a Markowitz-type portfolio selection model in which real exchange rate volatility induces a bias towards domestic financial assets as well as a stronger home bias for assets with low local currency return volatility. We find empirical support in favour of this hypothesis for a broad set of industrialised and emerging market countries. Not only is real exchange rate volatility an important factor behind bilateral portfolio home bias, but we find that a reduction of monthly real exchange rate volatility from its sample mean to zero reduces bond home bias by up to 60 percentage points, while it reduces equity home bias by only 20 percentage points.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
2 February 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 724
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Abstract
The paper analyses whether, and to what extent, emerging market economies (EMEs) have systemic importance for global financial markets, above and beyond their influence during crises episodes. Using a novel database of exogenous economic and political shocks for 14 systematically relevant EMEs, we find that EME shocks not only have a statistically but also economically significant impact on global equity markets. The economic significance of EME shocks is in particular underlined by their remarkably persistent effects over time. Importantly, EMEs are found to influence global equity markets about just as much in "good" times as in "bad" times, i.e. during crises or periods of financial turbulence. Finally, we detect a large degree of heterogeneity in the transmission of EME shocks to individual countries' equity markets, stressing the different degrees of financial exposure, which is relatively higher for European equity markets.
JEL Code
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
13 June 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 761
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Abstract
The influential work of Obstfeld and Rogoff argues that a closing-up of the US current account deficit involves a large exchange rate adjustment. However, the Obstfeld-Rogoff model works exclusively via demand-side channels and abstracts from possible supply-side changes. We extend the framework to allow for endogenous supply-side changes and show that this fundamentally alters the mechanism of the adjustment process. Allowing for such an extension attenuates quite significantly the implied exchange rate adjustment. The paper also provides some empirical evidence of variations in the supply-side structure and correlations with the exchange rate and the current account. The policy implications are that measures to foster a supply-side reaction would facilitate the external adjustment by alleviating an exclusive reliance on demand and exchange rate changes, with the latter being potentially destabilising for the global financial system.
JEL Code
E2 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
24 August 2007
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 70
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Abstract
The present paper does not claim to solve the Columbus' egg conundrum. There even may not be a "silver bullet"
JEL Code
E : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
23 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 819
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Abstract
Voting power methodology offers insights to understand coalition building in collective decision making. Using cooperative game theory, Banzhaf (1965) developed an index to capture the numerical importance of voters in coalition building. This voting power index is still widely used today in applications to international politics. Yet, it assumes that voters are symmetric and focuses on particular voters only. This paper proposes a new measure of voting power which account for the numerical proximity between voters by capturing how often they appear in winning coalitions together. The index is also developed to account for the relative importance of coalitions and the relative linkages among coalition participants. We present an application to the governance structure of the International Monetary Fund, with linkages being represented by bilateral trade between voters. The results are able to explain several important features of the functioning of this particular voting body, and may be useful for other applications of international politics.
JEL Code
C71 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Game Theory and Bargaining Theory→Cooperative Games
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
19 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1031
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Abstract
This paper presents a new concept - the global roles of currencies. The concept combines the domestic and international (cross-border) use of currencies and therefore captures the overall importance of different currencies in a globalised economy. The measure of a currency's global role is based on the size and stage of development of the underlying economy, as well as the size and stage of development of its financial markets and the scope of financial instruments available in this currency. The paper applies the concept to 22 currencies of advanced and emerging economies. The results confirm the well-known ranking for the leading currencies - in particular the US dollar and the euro - but give considerably greater weight to currencies of emerging economies than the results obtained from the international debt market, which has so far been used as the basis for measuring the international role of currencies in capital markets. The paper also discusses this established measure in detail, arguing that in view of financial globalisation, an indicator based on currency shares in the international debt market alone represents a decreasing share of international financial market activity, as this market excludes government debt, other domestic debt and equities, which are in- creasingly of interest to international investors. The paper also presents an empirical application of the new global concept to examine cross-border portfolio holdings in debt and equity markets across advanced and emerging economies. It finds that the global role indicator is positively correlated with such holdings and, especially for emerging economies, fares better than the established international debt market indicator. The findings suggest a positive relationship between domestic financial development and international financial integration.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F37 : International Economics→International Finance→International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
31 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1040
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Abstract
This paper sheds new light on the external and domestic dimension of China’s exchange rate policy. It presents an open economy model to analyse both dimensions of macroeconomic adjustment in China under both flexible and fixed exchange rate regimes. The model-based results indicate that persistent current account surpluses in China cannot be rationalized, under general circumstances, by the occurrence of permanent technology or labour supply shocks. As a result, the understanding of the macroeconomic adjustment process in China requires to mimic the effects of potential inefficiencies, which induce the subdued response of domestic absorption to permanent income shocks causing thereby the observed positive unconditional correlation of trade balance and output. The paper argues that these inefficiencies can be potentially seen as a by-product of the fixed exchange rate regime, and can be approximated by a stochastic tax on domestic consumption or time varying transaction cost technology related to money holdings. Our results indicate that a fixed exchange regime with financial market distortions, as defined above, might induce negative effects on GDP growth in the medium-term compared to a more flexible exchange rate regime.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy