The Cost of Foreign Exchange Intervention : Concepts and Measurement

Author/Editor:

Gustavo Adler ; Rui Mano

Publication Date:

April 8, 2016

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

The accumulation of large foreign asset positions by many central banks through sustained foreign exchange (FX) intervention has raised questions about its associated fiscal costs. This paper clarifies conceptual issues regarding how to measure these costs both from an ex-post and an ex-ante (relevant for decision making) perspective, and estimates both marginal and total costs for 73 countries over the period 2002-13. We find ex-ante marginal costs for the median emerging market economy (EME) in the inter-quartile range of 2-5.5 percent per year; while ex-ante total costs (of sustaining FX positions) in the range of 0.2-0.7 percent of GDP per year for light interveners and 0.3-1.2 percent of GDP per year for heavy interveners. These estimates indicate that fiscal costs of sustained FX intervention (via expanding central bank balance sheets) are not negligible.

Series:

Working Paper No. 16/89

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

April 8, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484323076/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2016089

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

37

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