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Parallel Exchange Rates in Developing Countries


  • Kiguel, Miguel
  • O'Connell, Stephen A


Dual exchange rates and black markets for foreign exchange are common in developing countries, and a body of evidence is beginning to emerge on the effects that such parallel foreign exchange systems have on macroeconomic performance. This article presents a simple typology of parallel systems, discusses their emergence, and looks at why countries prefer these arrangements to the main alternatives. The article examines the ability of parallel markets to insulate international reserves and domestic prices from shocks to the balance of payments. Drawing on the findings from eight detailed case studies, the authors discuss the determination of the parallel premium in the short and long terms, the relationship between the premium and illegal transactions, and the fiscal effects of parallel rates. They compare the experience of countries that have attempted to unify their foreign exchange markets and discuss the implications for policy alternatives. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiguel, Miguel & O'Connell, Stephen A, 1995. "Parallel Exchange Rates in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 21-52, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:10:y:1995:i:1:p:21-52

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