The Effect of a Transaction Tax on Exchange Rate Volatility
25 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2007
Date Written: 2006
We argue that a transaction tax is likely to amplify, not dampen, volatility in the foreign exchange markets. Our argument stems from the decentralised trading practice and the presumable discrepancy between 'informed' and 'uninformed' traders' valuations. Since informed traders' valuations are likely to be less dispersed, a transaction tax penalises informed trades disproportionately, leading to increased volatility. Empirical support for this prediction is found by investigating the effect of transaction costs on the volatility of DEM/USD and JPY/USD returns. High-frequency data are used and an increase in transaction costs is found to have a significant positive effect on volatility.
Keywords: transaction tax, exchange rates, volatility
JEL Classification: F31, F42, G15, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation