Real Options Effects on Employment: Does Exchange Rate Uncertainty Matter for Aggregation?

Ansgar Belke 1  and Matthias Göcke 2
  • 1 Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart and IZA,, Bonn, Germany
  • 2 Universität Münster,, Münster, Germany


In a baseline micro model a band of inaction due to hiring and firing costs is widened by option value effects of exchange rate uncertainty. Based on this micro foundation, an aggregation approach is presented. Under uncertainty, intervals of weak response to exchange rate reversals (called ‘play’ areas) are introduced on the macro level. ‘Spurts’ in new employment or firing may occur after an initially weak response. Since these mechanisms may apply to other ‘investment’ cases where the aggregation of microeconomic real options effects under uncertainty are relevant, they may even be of a more general interest.

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German Economic Review (GER), the official publication of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik), is an international journal publishing original and rigorous research of general interest in a broad range of economic disciplines. The scope of research approaches includes theoretical, empirical and experimental work.