We develop an open-economy of intertemporal trade under asymmetric information. Capital market imperfections are endogenous and depend on a county's stage of economic development. Relative to the perfect-information benchmark, North-South capital flows are dampened (and possibly reversed) and world interest rates are lower. Whereas riskless rates are equalized across borders, the domestic loan rate is higher in poorer countries. The model can be applied to a number of policy issues including the debt-overhang problem, the indexation of foreign public debts, and the effect of income on distribution growth.
We present a dynamic model of international lending in which borrowers cannot commit to future repayments and in which debtors can sometimes successfully negotiate partial defaulters or "rescheduling agreements." All parties in a debt rescheduling negotiation realize that today's rescheduling agreement may itself have to be renegotiated in the future. Our bargaining-theoretic approach allows us to handle the effects of uncertainty on sovereign debt contracts in a much more satisfactory way than in earlier analyses. The framework is readily extended to analyze the conflicting interests of different lenders and of banks and creditor country taxpayers.
In this paper, we explore the relationship between real exchange rates and real interest rate differentials in the United States, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Contrary to theories based on the joint hypothesis that domestic prices are sticky and monetary disturbances are predominant, we find little evidence of a stable relationship between real interest rates and real exchange rates. We consider both in-sample and out-of-sample tests. One hypothesis that is consistent with our findings is that real disturbances (such as productivity shocks) may be a major source of exchange rate volatility.
A dynamic bargaining-theoretic framework is used to analyze multilateral negotiations for rescheduling sovereign debt. The analysis illustrates how various factors, such as the debtor's gains from trade and the level of the world interest rates, affect the relative bargaining power of various parties to a rescheduling agreement. If creditor-country taxpayers have a vested interest in maintaining normal levels of trade with debtor countries, then they can sometimes be bargained into making sidepayments. The benefits from unanticipated creditor-country sidepayments accrue to both lenders and borrowers. But the benefits from perfectly anticipated sidepayments accrue entirely to borrowers.
The evidence presented here suggests that European Monetary System has indeed coincided with more predictable exchange rates (nominal and real) between France, Germany and Italy. But if increased monetary policy coordination is the main explanation, then it is surprising that the conditional variance of real interest differentials between these countries does not appear to have fallen (unless the disturbances are mostly real, in which case fixed rates are suboptimal). High onshore-offshore interest differentials for franc and lira assets, and the very slow convergence of intra-EMS inflation rates, suggest that capital controls have played a large role.
Society can sometimes make itself better off by appointing a central banker who does not share the social objective function, but instead places "too large" a weight on inflation-rate stabilization relative to employment stabilization. Although having such an agent head the central bank reduces the time-consistent rate of inflation, it suboptimally raises the variance of employment when supply shocks are large. Using an envelope theorem, we show that the ideal agent places a large, but finite, weight on inflation. The analysis also provides a new framework for choosing among alternate intermediate monetary targets.
This paper studies exchange rate behavior in models with moving long-run equilibria incorporating alternative price-adjustment mechanisms.The paper demonstrates that price-adjustment rules proposed by Mussa andby Barro and Grossman yield models that are empirically indistinguishable from each other. For speeds of goods-market adjustment that are "too fast," the Barro-Grossman rule appears to induce instability; but we argue that when the ruleis interpreted properly, models incorporating it are dynamically stable regardless of the speed at which disequilibriumis eliminated. The Barro-Grossman pricing scheme is shown to be a natural generalization, to a setting of moving long-run equilibria, of less versatile schemes proposed in earlier literature on exchange rate dynamics.
As the recent empirical studies surveyed here illustrate, it is very difficult to demonstrate that the exchange rate risk premium depends (through a portfolio balance channel) on the currency composition of outside assets. The existence of a 'portfolio balance effect' is a necessary condition for sterilized intervention to be a genuinely independent tool of monetary policy. This paper studies U.S./Canada data, and attempts to improve on earlier studies by using higher frequency (weekly) data and by implementing an appropriate instrumental variables technique (2S2SLS). However, we still fail to detect evidence of a portfolio balance effect.