Vehicle Currencies and the Structure of International Exchange

36 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2002

See all articles by Paul R. Krugman

Paul R. Krugman

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 1979

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the reasons why some currencies, such as the pound sterling and the U.S. dollar, have come to serve as "vehicles" for exchanges of other currencies. It develops a three-country model of payments equilibrium with transaction costs, and shows how one currency can emerge as an international medium of exchange. Transaction costs are then made endogenous, and it is shown how the underlying structure of payments limits, without necessarily completely determining, the choice and role of a vehicle currency. Finally, a dynamic model is developed, and the way in which one currency can displace another as the international medium of exchange is explored.

Suggested Citation

Krugman, Paul R., Vehicle Currencies and the Structure of International Exchange (April 1979). NBER Working Paper No. w0333. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260511

Paul R. Krugman (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-4570 (Phone)
609-258-2809 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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