Conventional explanations of the near random walk behavior of real exchange rates rely on near random walk behavior in the underlying fundamentals (e.g.. tastes and technology). The present paper offers an alternative rationale, based on a fixed-factor neoclassical model with traded and non-traded goods. The basic idea is that with open capital markets, agents can smooth their consumption of tradeables in the face of transitory traded goods productivity shocks. Agents cannot smooth non-traded goods productivity shocks, but if these are relatively small (as is often argued to be the case) then traded goods consumption smoothing will lead to smoothing of the intra-temporal price of traded and non-traded goods. The (near) random walk implications of the model for the real exchange rate are in stark contrast to the empirical predictions of the classic Balassa-Samuelson model. The paper applies the model to the yen/dollar exchange rate over the floating rate period.
Political business cycle theories generally rely on nominal rigidities and voter myopia. This paper offers an equilibrium theory with preserves some basic insights from earlier models, though with significant refinements. The "political budget cycle" emphasized here is in fiscal policy rather than output and inflation; it arises via a multidimensional signal process. One can consider the welfare implications of proposals to mitigate the cycle, and the effects of altering the electoral structure.
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.