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Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning Mundell-Fleming's Dictum on its Head

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  • Amartya Lahiri

    (University of British Columbia, Department of Economics, Vancouver, Canada)

  • Rajesh Singh

    (Iowa State University, Department of Economics, USA)

  • Carlos A. Vegh

    (University of Maryland, Department of Economics and NBER, USA)

Abstract

A famous dictum in open economy macroeconomics - which obtains in the Mundell-Fleming world of sticky prices and perfect capital mobility - holds that the choice of the optimal exchange rate regime should depend on the type of shock hitting the economy. If shocks are predominantly real, a flexible exchange rate is optimal, whereas if shocks are mainly monetary, a fixed exchange rate is optimal. There is no obvious reason, however, why this paradigm should be the most appropriate one to think about this important issue. Arguably, asset market frictions may be as pervasive as goods market frictions (particularly in developing countries). In this light, we show that in a model with flexible prices and asset market frictions, the Mundell-Fleming dictum is turned on its head: flexible rates are optimal in the presence of monetary shocks, whereas fixed rates are optimal in response to real shocks. We thus conclude that the choice of an optimal exchange rate regime should depend not only on the type of shock (real versus monetary) but also on the type of friction (goods versus asset market).

Suggested Citation

  • Amartya Lahiri & Rajesh Singh & Carlos A. Vegh, 2007. "Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning Mundell-Fleming's Dictum on its Head," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 54(3), pages 249-270, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:54:y:2007:i:3:p:249-270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2004. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1183-1193, September.
    2. Rajesh Singh & Amartya Lahiri & Carlos Vegh, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Asset Market Segmentation," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 643, Econometric Society.
    3. Lahiri, Amartya & Singh, Rajesh & Vegh, Carlos, 2007. "Segmented asset markets and optimal exchange rate regimes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-21, May.
    4. Stephen Ching & Michael B. Devereux, 2003. "Mundell Revisited: a Simple Approach to the Costs and Benefits of a Single Currency Area," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 674-691, September.
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    6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
    7. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
    8. Leslie Lipschitz, 1978. "Exchange Rate Policies for Developing Countries: Some Simple Arguments for Intervention (Les politiques de taux de change et les pays en voie de développement: quelques arguments simples en faveur de," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(4), pages 650-675, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dąbrowski, Marek A. & Śmiech, Sławomir & Papież, Monika, 2015. "Monetary policy options for mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis on emerging market economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 409-431.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh & Andrés Velasco (ed.), 2008. "Money, Crises, and Transition: Essays in Honor of Guillermo A. Calvo," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182661, December.
    3. Ouchen, Mariam, 2013. "Optimal choice of an exchange rate regime: a critical literature review," MPRA Paper 43907, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2013.
    4. Dąbrowski, Marek A. & Wróblewska, Justyna, 2020. "Insulating property of the flexible exchange rate regime: A case of Central and Eastern European countries," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 34-49.
    5. Shigeto Kitano, 2016. "Predetermined exchange rate, monetary targeting, and inflation targeting regimes," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 233-256, September.
    6. G. C. Lim & Paul D. McNelis, 2008. "Cyclical Government Spending, Income Inequality and Welfare in Small Open Economies," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n18, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    7. McNelis, Paul D., 2016. "Optimal policy rules at home, crisis and quantitative easing abroad," BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2016, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    8. Dąbrowski, Marek A. & Wróblewska, Justyna, 2016. "Exchange rate as a shock absorber in Poland and Slovakia: Evidence from Bayesian SVAR models with common serial correlation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 249-262.

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    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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