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Choice of exchange rate regimes for African countries: Fixed or Flexible Exchange rate regimes?

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  • Simwaka, Kisu

Abstract

The choice of an appropriate exchange rate regime has been a subject of ongoing debate in international economics. The majority of African countries are small open economies and thus where the choice of the exchange rate regime is an important policy issue. Aside from factors such as interest rates and inflation, the exchange rate is one of the most important determinants of a country’s relative level of economic health. For this reason, exchange rates are among the most watched analyzed and governmentally manipulated economic variables. This paper revisits the debate on the choice of an appropriate exchange-rate regime for African countries. It starts by reviewing literature on the debate of appropriate exchange rate regimes. It then discusses relevant considerations for the choice of the exchange rate regimes for African countries. The debate revolves around the effect of exchange rate on macroeconomic management, particularly inflation and export competitiveness. The paper recommends the conventional peg arrangement as a viable option for the majority of low-income African countries. But this is contingent on a number of important pre-conditions. For middle-income African economies, with relatively developed financial markets and linkages to modern global capital markets, floating arrangements, including the managed floating exchange rate regime, look more promising. In conclusion, the paper cautions that no single exchange rate regime is right for all countries or at all times.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23129.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23129

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Keywords: Exchange rate options; sub-Saharan African countries;

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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "No Single Currency Regime is Right for All Countries or At All Times," NBER Working Papers 7338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Fewer Monies, Better Monies," NBER Working Papers 8324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does The Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," Working Papers 97-09, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes, Capital Flows and Crisis Prevention," NBER Working Papers 8529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Masson, Paul R., 2001. "Exchange rate regime transitions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 571-586, April.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2004. "Flexible Exchange Rates as Shock Absorbers," Business School Working Papers exchangerates, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Federico Sturzenegger, 2003. "To Float or to Fix: Evidence on the Impact of Exchange Rate Regimes on Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1173-1193, September.
  9. Bleaney, Michael & Fielding, David, 2002. "Exchange rate regimes, inflation and output volatility in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 233-245, June.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "Estimating the Effect of Currency Unions on Trade and Output," NBER Working Papers 7857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael D. Bordo, 2003. "Exchange Rate Regime Choice in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 9654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Andrew Berg & Paolo Mauro & Michael Mussa & Alexander K. Swoboda & Esteban Jadresic & Paul R. Masson, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes in an Increasingly Integrated World Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 193, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Morris Goldstein, 1995. "Exchange Rate System and the IMF: A Modest Agenda, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa39.
  14. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Holger C. Wolf, 2003. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Choices and Consequences," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072408, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Sebastian Edwards & Igal Magendzo, 2003. "A Currency of One's Own? An Empirical Investigation on Dollarization and Independent Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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