Fresh thinking on growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Short-term Exchange Rate Movements and International Exchange of Goods

Event | 12 December 2013 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


ADBI's Seminar Series brings eminent persons to ADBI to encourage debate among policymakers, researchers, academics, think tanks, and other audiences interested in economic development challenges in the Asia and Pacific region.


Matthias Helble joined the Research Department of ADBI in August 2013. His research interests are in international trade, health, economics, and development. Specifically, his research focus is on trade policy analysis and the intersection of trade and health. His research has been published in book chapters and in flagship reports of international organizations, such as the World Trade Report, as well as in various scientific journals such as the Review of World Economics, Kyklos, Journal of World Trade, World Economy, Health & Place, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Prior to coming to Tokyo, he managed the statistics program of the United Nations' Universal Postal Union in Berne, Switzerland. Before that he worked as an economist for the World Trade Organization and for the World Health Organization in Geneva. He started his professional career in the trade team of the Development Research Group of the World Bank in Washington, DC.

He holds degrees in economics from the University of Tübingen (BA, MSc) in Germany, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MA) in the United States, as well as from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (MSc) in Switzerland. During his doctoral studies he was a research fellow at Yale University and received his PhD degree from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland.


Nominal prices are typically assumed to be rigid and therefore exchange rate movements should allow for short-term international arbitrage. This seminar will present a new data set that combines records of daily international exchanges of goods and daily data on international exchange rate movements. Applying different econometrics techniques, we show for the first time that in an environment of floating exchange rates short-term international arbitrage is indeed occurring and that it has a persistent effect.


Policymakers, academics, outside researchers, and the general public; approximately 30 participants.