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The Economics and Finance Letters

June 2019, Volume 6, 2, pp 203-209

Exchange Rate Volatility, Foreign Exchange Market Intervention and Asymmetric Preferences

Helena Glebocki Keefe


Hedieh Shadmani

Helena Glebocki Keefe 1 Hedieh Shadmani 1 ,

  1. Department of Economics, Fairfield University, USA. 1

Pages: 203-209

DOI: 10.18488/journal.29.2019.62.203.209

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Article History:

Received: 08 August, 2019
Revised: 12 September, 2019
Accepted: 15 October, 2019
Published: 04 December, 2019


Policymakers in emerging market economies intervene in currency markets to counter appreciation or depreciation pressure, while also responding to the degree of exchange rate volatility. This paper investigates whether the asymmetric response in terms of foreign exchange intervention depends on the degree of exchange rate volatility. Specifically, we estimate whether the response by policymakers to currency market conditions differs in above or below threshold levels of volatility. We use dynamic threshold panel analysis presented within an asymmetric policy reaction function to investigate the role of exchange rate volatility in foreign exchange intervention. We estimate the model using Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) with monthly data for 23 emerging market economies from 2000 to 2016. We find that the asymmetric aversion to appreciation only holds under below-threshold volatility scenarios, and that the majority of the time, policymakers are simply leaning against exchange rate movements to ensure stable exchange rate conditions. The results confirm that exchange rate volatility impacts the response of policymakers to exchange rate conditions.
Contribution/ Originality
This study assesses how exchange rate volatility impacts foreign exchange policy decisions in emerging and developing economies. We provide evidence that prior literature, which did not consider volatility, missed an important policy concern for central banks in these economies when analyzing the existence of asymmetric preference in foreign exchange intervention.


Asymmetric preferences, Foreign exchange market, Intervention, Emerging markets, Exchange rate volatility, Optimal reaction function, GMM.



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Both authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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