Fixed and Flexible Rates: A Renewal of The Debate
AbstractThe paper reviews the extent to which a decade of analysis and experience has altered thinking about the choice of an exchange rate system. The advantages of flexible rates are viewed to have been exaggerated. They do not permit governments to have permanently higher rates of economic activity at the expense of higher inflation as some thought. Further, the slow speed of adjustment to relative price changes limits the contribution of flexible rates to external adjustment in the short-run, and the degree of insulation from external influences that they provide. Finally, flexible rates tend to be fluctuating rates, and, although there is little empirical evidence so far showing that the fluctuations have had adverse effects on trade and capital flows, the exchange rate instability more than any other factor has led to a certain disillusionment with the floating rate system. Notwithstanding the drawbacks of flexible rates, there will be a continuing need for exchange rate flexibility over the next few years, and some analysis is given of the problems of achieving greater stability under flexible rates or the requisite amount of flexibility under pegged rates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0367.
Date of creation: Jun 1979
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