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The Evolution of Exchange Rate Policy and Capital Controls in Australia


  • Guy Debelle

    (International Department, Reserve Bank of Australia, 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia)

  • Michael Plumb

    (International Department, Reserve Bank of Australia, 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia)


After the end of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s, exchange rate policy in Australia moved through several regimes over an extended period. The overarching theme was to increase flexibility and efficiency in the Australian currency market and the financial system more generally. This paper documents Australia's gradual move from a fixed to a floating exchange rate and the abolition of capital controls, with an emphasis on the thinking behind various reforms and the practical difficulties encountered during the reform process. Policy reform was often in response to external forces exposing deficiencies in the prevailing system, rather than through a carefully planned path to greater flexibility. Ultimately, a combination of domestic and international factors rendered the move to a flexible exchange rate largely inevitable. (c) 2006 The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Guy Debelle & Michael Plumb, 2006. "The Evolution of Exchange Rate Policy and Capital Controls in Australia," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 5(2), pages 7-29, Spring/Su.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:5:y:2006:i:2:p:7-29

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    Cited by:

    1. Susan Black & Joshua Kirkwood & Thomas Williams & Alan Rai, 2013. "A History of Australian Corporate Bonds," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(3), pages 292-317, November.
    2. Victor Pontines & Reza Siregar, 2012. "Exchange Rate Appreciation, Capital Flows and Excess Liquidity: Adjustment and Effectiveness of Policy Responses," Research Studies, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre, number rp87, April.
    3. Jonathan Hambur & Lynne Cockerell & Christopher Potter & Penelope Smith & Michelle Wright, 2015. "Modelling the Australian Dollar," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2015-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.

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