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Title: Real exchange rate volatility in the long-run growth process
Author: Wan, Simon Shui-Ming
ISNI:       0000 0004 4961 3430
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The objective of this thesis is to examine real exchange rate volatility, with a particular focus on investigating the causes of exchange rate jumps. While the predominant approach in the literature is to examine the interaction between nominal rigidities and nominal shocks, this thesis examines the volatility that arises from real rigidities and shocks. Trying to better understand the transmission of real shocks to the exchange rate is a worthwhile task, given the substantial evidence that these shocks and rigidities are important for explaining other economic fluctuations. This thesis develops theoretical models that examine the contributions of specific real rigidities to exchange rate volatility. Chapter 1 introduces our baseline specification - a frictionless model, with the exception of capital adjustment costs. This baseline generates very mild exchange rate fluctuations. Additional rigidities are required to generate volatility of the magnitude that is typically observed. Chapter 2 finds that introducing imperfect asset substitutability - specifically, home asset bias - goes a little towards achieving this. When investors are biased, the exchange rate must adjust by more to equilibrate asset markets. This greater burden of adjustment on the exchange rate along the short run path typically translates to larger jumps after shocks. Similarly, Chapter 3 shows that augmenting the baseline with banks and financial frictions raises exchange rate volatility. The key point is that, in the presence of financial frictions, there is a risk premium that widens after negative shocks, increasing the required adjustment of the exchange rate. A fourth chapter extends Chapter 3 and shows that unconventional credit policy, while beneficial in some respects, nonetheless entails nontrivial costs because it invites moral hazard by encouraging banks to be more highly leveraged, which increases exchange rate and consumption volatility. So, the overall message is that, in the presence of plausible real frictions - including (i) capital adjustment costs, (ii) imperfect asset substitutability, and (iii) financial frictions - real shocks can generate a plausibly significant degree of real exchange rate volatility. This thus posits an additional explanation of exchange rate jumps that complements the predominantly monetary literature.
Supervisor: Vines, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Macro and international economics ; real exchange rate volatility ; home bias ; imperfect asset substitutability ; financial frictions ; moral hazard ; unconventional credit policy