Discussion paper

DP15493 Dominant currency dynamics: Evidence on dollar-invoicing from UK exporters

How do the choices of individual firms contribute to the dominance of a currency in global trade? Using export transactions data from the UK over 2010-2016, we document strong evidence of two mechanisms that promote the use of a dominant currency: (1) prior experience: the probability that a firm invoices its exports to a new market in a dominant currency is increasing in the number of years the firm has used the dominant currency in its existing markets; (2) strategic complementarity: a firm is more likely to invoice its exports in the currency chosen by the majority of its competitors in a foreign destination market in order to stabilize its residual demand in that market. We show that the introduction of a managerial fixed cost of currency management into a model of invoicing currency choice yields dynamic paths of currency choice that match our empirical findings.


Crowley, M, L Han and M Son (2020), ‘DP15493 Dominant currency dynamics: Evidence on dollar-invoicing from UK exporters‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15493. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15493