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Twin Fallacies About Exchange Rate Policy in Emerging Markets

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  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Vincent R. Reinhart

Abstract

Two assertions about exchange rate regimes circulate with some frequency in policy circles. The first, the hypothesis of the excluded middle, holds that authorities must either choose perfectly floating exchange rates (preferably anchored by an inflation target for the central bank) or a hard (preferably irrevocable) peg. The second, seemingly unrelated, argues that the inability of emerging market economies to exercise monetary independence owes to the severe mistrust that they are perceived with by global investors because of the economic failures of prior governments. This paper argues that the theories of the excluded middle and original sin are twin and related fallacies that are contrary to theory and evidence. This paper will provide a model in which the government can choose policies consistent with either a pure float anchored by a constant money stock or a pure peg but, under certain circumstances, fail to find exchange rate stability at either corner. The problem is that the potential for regime change implies that the current government's successors may behave less admirably, which will weigh on investors' current behavior. The difficulties imparted by this expectation channel in an otherwise standard model of optimizing agents endowed with rational expectations shows both why looking back to explain credibility problems is looking the wrong way and why the excluded middle is, in fact, so crowded.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9670.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Publication status: published as Reinhart, Carmen and Vincent R. Reinhart. "Twin Fallacies About Exchange Rate Policy in Emerging Markets." Moneda y Crédito Vol. 216 (2003): 11-29.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9670

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  1. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
  2. Jeffrey Frankel & Sergio Schmukler & Luis Serven, 2000. "Verifiability and the Vanishing Intermediate Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 7901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," NBER Working Papers 4693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  6. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
  7. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1979. "On Models of Money and Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 83-103, February.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Mirage of Floating Exchange Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 65-70, May.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2010. "Monetary Policy in Emerging Markets: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 16125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  3. Tony Cavoli & Ramkishen S. Rajan, 2005. "Have Exchange Rate Regimes in Asia Become More Flexible Post Crisis? Re-visiting the Evidence," School of Economics Working Papers 2005-06, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  4. Francisco Ledesma-Rodriguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibanez & Jorge Perez-Rodriguez & Simon Sosvilla-Rivero, 2011. "Implicit bands in the yen/dollar exchange rate," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(10), pages 1241-1255.
  5. Francisco J. Ledesma-Rodríguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibáñez & Jorge V. Pérez-Rodríguez & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, 2005. "Regímenes cambiarios de iure y de facto. El caso de la Peseta/Dólar, 1965-1998," Working Papers 05-03, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 2004. "Managing Macroeconomic Crises," NBER Working Papers 10907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Francisco Ledesma-Rodríguez & Manuel Navarro-Ibáñez & Jorge Pérez-Rodríguez & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero, . "Regímenes cambiarios de facto y de iure. Una aplicación al tipo de cambio yen/dólar," Working Papers 2004-10, FEDEA.
  8. Detken, Carsten & Gaspar, Vítor, 2003. "Maintaining price stability under free-floating: a fearless way out of the corner?," Working Paper Series 0241, European Central Bank.
  9. Vilela Vieira, Flávio & Brito, Marcio Holland de, 2010. "Exchange rate dynamics in Brazil," Textos para discussão 210, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  10. Reinhart, Carmen & Reinhart, Vincent, 2003. "Twin fallacies about exchange rate policy: A note," MPRA Paper 13763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Moritz Schularick, 2005. "A Tale Of Two “Globalizations”: Capital Flows From Rich To Poor In Two Eras Of Global Finance," Economic History 0509001, EconWPA.

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