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The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates

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  • Maurice Obstfeld
  • Kenneth Rogoff

Abstract

This paper discusses the profound difficulties of maintaining fixed exchange rates in a world of expanding global capital markets. Contrary to popular wisdom, industrialized-country monetary authorities easily have the resources to defend exchange parities against virtually any private speculative attack. But if their commitment to use those resources lacks credibility with markets, the costs to the broader economy of defending an exchange-rate peg can be very high. The dynamic interplay between credibility and commitment is illustrated by the 1992 Swedish and British crises and the 1994-95 Mexican collapse. We also discuss the small number of successful fixers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5191.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall 1995, Volume 9, #4, pp. 73-96
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5191

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  1. Rose, Andrew K. & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1994. "European exchange rate credibility before the fall," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1185-1216, June.
  2. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  3. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," NBER Working Papers 4693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Garber, Peter & Taylor, Mark P, 1995. "Sand in the Wheels of Foreign Exchange Markets: A Sceptical Note," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 173-80, January.
  6. Ken Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, . "Perspectives on PPP and Long-Run Real Exchange Rates," Working Paper 32027, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Peter M. Garber & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1994. "The Operation and Collapse of Fixed Exchange Rate Regimes," NBER Working Papers 4971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "The ends of four big inflations," Working Papers 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
  10. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  11. Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
  12. Williamson, John, 1993. "Exchange Rate Management," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 188-97, January.
  13. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  14. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
  15. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1994. "Fixed exchange rates as a means to price stability: What have we learned?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 447-468, April.
  16. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  17. David T. Beers & Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1983. "Speculations about the speculation against the Hong Kong dollar," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  18. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  20. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  21. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  22. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  23. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "Can international monetary policy cooperation be counterproductive?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 199-217, May.
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