Open Economies Review

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

Trilemma-Dilemma: Constraint or Choice? Some Empirical Evidence from a Structurally Identified Heterogeneous Panel VAR

  • Peter J. MontielEmail author
  • Peter Pedroni
Research Article


We use a heterogeneous panel structural VAR approach to study the role of international financial integration in determining the effectiveness of monetary policy under different exchange rate regimes. In particular, we use the extent to which a country’s monetary policy is able to create temporary deviations from uncovered interest parity as a policy-relevant measure of the degree to which the country is effectively integrated with international financial markets, and then correlate this measure to our estimates of the ability of monetary policy to induce temporary movements in commercial bank lending rates. We find that regardless of whether a country pursues fixed or floating exchange rates, the impact of monetary policy shocks on bank lending rates is diminished as the country becomes financially more integrated with the world economy. This is a direct implication of Mundell’s trilemma for countries with fixed exchange rates, but not for floaters. For floaters, we find that the weaker effects on domestic interest rates under high integration are accompanied with stronger effects on the exchange rate. This also holds true for monetary shocks originating in “core” countries. These results provide a possible reconciliation between Rey’s “dilemma” and Mundell’s famous trilemma: because higher financial integration increases exchange rate volatility in response to foreign monetary shocks, countries in the periphery that seek to avoid such volatility are more likely to pursue monetary policies that shadow those of the core as they become more financially integrated with the core.


Trilemma Exchange rates Financial integration Monetary policy Heterogeneous panel structural VAR 

JEL Classification

E52 E58 F36 



We thank Andy Berg for helpful comments and are grateful to the DFID Research Project LICs for financial support. An earlier draft version of this paper was circulated with the title “Exchange Rates, Financial Integration and Monetary Transmission: A Structurally Identified Heterogeneous Panel VAR Approach.”


  1. Aizenman J, Chinn MD, Ito H (2016) Monetary policy spillovers and the trilemma in the new Normal: periphery country sensitivity to Core country conditions. J Int Money Financ 68:298–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bekaert G. and A. Mehl (2017), “On the global financial market integration “swoosh” and the trilemma,” NBER Working Paper 23124 (February)Google Scholar
  3. Brischetto, Andrea and Graham Voss (1999), “A structural vector autoregression model of monetary policy in Australia,” Reserve Bank of Australia Research Discussion Paper 1999-11Google Scholar
  4. Cushman DO, Zha T (1997) Identifying monetary policy in a small open economy under flexible exchange rates. J Monet Econ 39:433–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eichenbaum M, Evans CL (1995) Some empirical evidence on the effects of monetary policy on exchange rates. Q J Econ 110:975–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kim Y, Roubini N (2000) Exchange rate anomalies in industrial countries: a solution with a structural VAR approach. J Monet Econ 45:561–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Klein M, Shambaugh J (2015) Rounding the corners of the policy trilemma: sources of monetary policy autonomy. Am Econ J Macroecon 7(4):33–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mishra P, Montiel PJ, Pedroni P, Spilimbergo A (2014) Monetary policy and Bank lending rates in low-income countries: heterogeneous panel estimates. J Dev Econ 111:117–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pedroni P (2013) Structural Panel VARs. Econometrics 1:180–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rey H (2015a) Dilemma not trilemma: the global financial cycle and monetary policy Independence. NBER Working Paper 21162Google Scholar
  11. Rey, Helene (2015b), “International channels of transmission of monetary policy and the Mundellian trilemma,” Working paper, London Business SchoolGoogle Scholar
  12. Smets F, Wouters R (2007) Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach. Am Econ Rev 93(3):586–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Williams CollegeWilliamstownUSA

Personalised recommendations