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Smuggling, non-fundamental uncertainty, and parallel market exchange rate volatility

Richard Barnett ()

Canadian Journal of Economics, 2003, vol. 36, issue 3, 701-727

Abstract: We explore a model where smuggling and a parallel currency market arise, owing to government restrictions that prevent agents from legally holding foreign exchange. Despite such restrictions, agents are able to diversify their savings, holding both domestic and parallel foreign cash, basing their portfolio allocation on current and prospective parallel exchange rates. We attribute movements in parallel rates to non-fundamental uncertainty. The model generates equilibria with both positive and negative parallel premia and correlations between illegal trade and the premium. The model has the novel implication that currency speculation drives smuggling, affecting real activities in all sectors of the economy.

JEL-codes: F31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:36:y:2003:i:3:p:701-727