MANAGING EXCHANGE RATE VOLATILITY: A COMPARATIVE COUNTERFACTUAL ANALYSIS OF SINGAPORE 1994 TO 2003

Author: 
Peter Wilson
Henry Ng Shang Ren
Description: 
Paper No. 2006/08 – February 2006
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Abstract: 
The objective of this paper is see how well Singapores exchange rate regime has coped with exchange rate volatility before and after the Asian financial crisis by comparing the performance of Singapores actual regime in minimising the volatility of the nominal effective exchange rate (NEER) and the bilateral rate against the US$ against some counterfactual regimes and the corresponding performance of eight other East Asian countries. In contrast to previous counterfactual exercises, such as Williamson (1998a) and Ohno (1999) which compute the weights for effective exchange rates on the basis of simple bloc aggregates, we apply a more disaggregated methodology using a larger number of trade partners. We also utilize ARCH/GARCH techniques to obtain estimates of heteroskedastic variances to better capture the time-varying characteristics of volatility for the actual and simulated exchange rate regimes. Our findings confirm that Singapores managed floating exchange rate system has delivered relatively low currency volatility. Although there are gains in volatility reduction for all countries in the sample from the adoption of either a unilateral or common basket peg, particularly post-crisis, these gains are relatively low for Singapore, largely because low actual volatility. Finally, there are additional gains for non-dollar peggers from stabilizing intra-EA exchange rates against the dollar if they were to adopt a basket peg, especially post-crisis, but the gains for Singapore are again relatively modest.