IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The structure of public debt and the choice of exchange rate regime


  • Michael Bleaney
  • F. Gulcin Ozkan


This paper explores the relationship between the denomination of public debt and the choice of exchange rate regime. Three types of debt (nominal, indexed, and foreign) and two regimes (fixed and flexible) are considered. Indexed debt is insulated against unexpected inflation. The real (domestic-currency) value of foreign debt is subject to valuation effects from real exchange rate shocks. The `fear-of-floating' result, that foreign debt makes pegging more attractive, is shown to hold unambiguously only if the peg is fully credible. If the peg lacks credibility, a critical factor is the perceived likelihood of using the `escape clause' of a switch to a float, which raises the costs of pegging. Foreign debt increases the temptation to resort to the escape clause, so when a peg is not fully credible (as is almost always the case in reality), pegging tends to be less attractive than floating in the presence of foreign debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bleaney & F. Gulcin Ozkan, 2011. "The structure of public debt and the choice of exchange rate regime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(1), pages 325-339, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:1:p:325-339

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Available to subscribers only. Alternative access through JSTOR and Ingenta.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    2. Chang, Roberto & Velasco, Andres, 2006. "Currency mismatches and monetary policy: A tale of two equilibria," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 150-175, June.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    4. Michael Bleaney & Manuela Francisco, 2008. "Balance sheet effects and the choice of exchange rate regime in developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 297-310.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48.
    6. Ozkan, F Gulcin, 2000. " Who Wants an Independent Central Bank? Monetary Policy-Making and Politics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(4), pages 621-643, December.
    7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Destabilizing effects of exchange-rate escape clauses," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 61-77, August.
    8. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo & Stein, Ernesto, 2001. "Why do countries float the way they float?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 387-414, December.
    9. Cook, David, 2004. "Monetary policy in emerging markets: Can liability dollarization explain contractionary devaluations?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1155-1181, September.
    10. Rose, Andrew K., 2007. "A stable international monetary system emerges: Inflation targeting is Bretton Woods, reversed," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 663-681, September.
    11. Berger, Helge & Jensen, Henrik & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2001. "To peg or not to peg?: A simple model of exchange rate regime choice in small economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 161-167, November.
    12. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
    13. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2005. "Contractionary Currency Crashes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 11508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 73-96, Fall.
    15. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans, 1997. "Central bank independence and public debt policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 873-894, May.
    16. Honig, Adam, 2005. "Fear of floating and domestic liability dollarization," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 289-307, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carl Grekou, 2015. "Currency misalignments and economic growth: the foreign currency-denominated debt channel," EconomiX Working Papers 2015-23, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:1:p:325-339. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.