Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Economics

First Advisor

James Fackler

Second Advisor

Yoonbai Kim

Abstract

There are four chapters in my dissertation. Chapter one gives a brief introduction of the three essays. Chapter two studies the choice of exchange rate regimes in East Asia using a business-cycle approach. My results suggest that countries in East Asia are driven mainly by country-specific shocks, making more rigid exchange rate regimes less desirable. Neither a yen bloc nor a dollar bloc has been identified in East Asia. However, Japan seems more influential to countries such as Korea and Taiwan. An optimum currency area does not seem feasible for East Asia, at least in the short run. Chapter three applies the cointegration and causality analyses to the real effective exchange rates to study the degree of monetary integration in East Asia. I find that the ASEAN and the NIE countries, respectively, have achieved some degree of integration, but not East Asia as a whole. The yen is found to move closely with the NIE currencies. However, neither the yen nor the dollar imposes a dominant driving force on the East Asian currencies. My results suggest that East Asia is not an optimum currency area. Chapter four expands the traditional monetary model of exchange rate determination into a structural VAR model incorporating various capital flows and the balance of trade in addition to the macroeconomic fundamentals. The model is then applied to the Australian dollar (AUD), the Canadian dollar (CAD), and the US dollar (USD) exchange rates over 19802004. I find that capital flows, especially portfolio investments, explain a major portion of the exchange rate fluctuations in the relatively small and open economies such as Australia and Canada in the short-to-medium run. The impacts of capital flows are limited to the US dollar exchange rates. Among the macroeconomic fundamentals, the interest rate plays an important role in exchange rate determination for all three currencies. The results imply that different capital flows do influence exchange rates differently and are important determinants of exchange rates.

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