The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We present a model of a “soft” exchange rate target zone and interpret it as a stylized description of the post-August 1993 ERM. Our central bank targets a moving average of the current and past exchange rates, rather than the exchange rate’s current level, thus allowing the rate to move within wide margins in the short run, but within narrow margins in the long run. For realistic parameters, soft target zones are significantly less vulnerable to speculative attacks than “hard” target zones. These predictions are consistent with the ERM’s experience and the abatement of speculative pressure in European markets since the bands’ widening in 1993.