Has Trade any Importance in the Transmission of Currency Shocks?

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Roberta De Santis
01 July 2004
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The object of this study is to assess the role of trade in the transmission of currency shocks across geographically close countries. The analysis will focus on identifying and comparing the degree of vulnerability of new EU member states from the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) to currency shocks.
We interpret the interactions that a centre-periphery model identifies for periphery countries as a possible description of existing interdependencies among CEECs. According to the centre periphery model discussed by Corsetti et al. (1998b), “if there is no pass-through, then direct bilateral trade links may play a more important role than competition in the third market in determining the transmission of exchange rate shocks in the periphery. If there is full pass-through, a high share of bilateral trade within a region can actually limit the extent of beggar-thy-neighbour effects.” These effects are emphasised by a high degree of export similarity among the countries in the periphery.
As a result of the heterogeneity in pass-through and trade structures, it is very difficult to derive a unitary policy implication on the potential sustainability of the exchange rate mechanism (ERM) II. Yet it is possible to single out the country pairs in which the likelihood of transmitting currency shocks is higher. Preliminary results point out that (other things being equal and given the contained intra-periphery trade) the transmission of currency disturbances is lower if the disturbance originates in countries with low a pass-through rate (the Slovak and Czech Republics, Estonia and Latvia) and higher if it originates in countries with a high pass-through rate (Poland, Hungary and Slovenia).