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Why peg? The role of capital mobility and financial intermediation

  • Michael Hall
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    Many economists argue that the growth of international capital mobility has made the maintenance of pegged exchange rates more costly, forcing developing states to choose alternative arrangements. But some states do not simply abandon pegged exchange rates as their exposure to capital mobility rises. Some states abandon pegs long before a crisis can erupt, while others maintain pegs until the speculative pressures became unbearable. Why, in an environment of growing capital mobility, do some states maintain pegs longer than others do? One reason is that the more that bank lending dominates investment in a country, the more likely that state is to hold on to a pegged exchange rate. When banks have accumulated significant amounts of foreign debt they lobby for exchange rate stability. In a bank-dominated financial system, a concentrated banking sector can organize easily and use its crucial role in the economy to exert influence over economic policy. This article presents new evidence from statistical tests on 61 developing countries that confirm that states with deeper banking systems are more likely to peg their exchange rates, in spite of growing capital mobility.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Review of Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 577-596

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:irapec:v:23:y:2009:i:5:p:577-596
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