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Living with the Fear of Floating: An Optimal Policy Perspective

In: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets

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  • Amartya Lahiri
  • Carlos A. Végh

Abstract

As documented in recent studies, developing countries (classified by the IMF as floaters or managed floaters) are extremely reluctant to allow for large nominal exchange rate fluctuations. This 'fear of floating' is reflected in the fact that, in spite of being subject to larger shocks, developing countries exhibit lower exchange rate variability and higher reserve variability than developed countries. Moreover, there is a positive correlation between changes in the exchange rate and interest rates and a negative correlation between both changes in reserves and the exchange rate and changes in interest rates and reserves. We build a simple model that rationalizes these key features as the outcome of an optimal policy response to monetary shocks. The model incorporates three key frictions: an output cost of nominal exchange rate fluctuations, an output cost of higher interest rates to defend the currency, and a fixed cost of intervention.
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Suggested Citation

  • Amartya Lahiri & Carlos A. Végh, 2002. "Living with the Fear of Floating: An Optimal Policy Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 663-704 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
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    3. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Hedging and financial fragility in fixed exchange rate regimes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1151-1193.
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    9. Eduardo Moron & Juan F. Castro, 2002. "Uncovering Central Bank Monetary Policy Objectives: Going Beyond Fear of Floating," Macroeconomics 0205002, EconWPA.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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