THE CHOICE OF EXCHANGE RATE REGIME AND THE VOLATILITY OF EXCHANGE RATES BEFORE AND AFTER THE ASIAN CRISIS: A COUNTERFACTUAL ANALYSIS *
HENRY NG SHANG REN
This paper carries out a counterfactual analysis of the impact of alternative exchange rate regimes on the volatility of the nominal effective exchange rate (NEER) and the bilateral rate against the US dollar for nine East Asian countries, both before and after the Asian financial crisis. Our hypothetical regimes include a unilateral basket peg (UBP), a common basket peg (CBP) and a hard peg against the $US, but in contrast to previous counterfactual exercises which compute the weights for effective exchange rates on the basis of simple bloc aggregates, we apply a more disaggregated methodology using a larger number of trade partners and utilise ARCH/GARCH techniques to better capture the time-varying characteristics of volatility. Our results suggest that a UBP would minimise effective exchange rate volatility for all countries both before and after the crisis and provides the highest regime gains compared to actual. Although the gains for a CBP are always less than those for a UBP the absolute differences between the two regimes appear to be small. In terms of bilateral exchange rates against the dollar the gains from a UBP or CBP could also be quite significant for the non-dollar peggers, especially post-crisis, since a fall in effective instability would be accompanied by a fall in bilateral instability. Copyright 2008 The Authors.
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