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The `Gold Standard Paradox' and Its Resolution

  • Buiter, Willem H.
  • Grilli, Vittorio

This paper analyses Krugman's contention that there is a `gold standard paradox' in the speculative attack literature. The paradox occurs if a country's currency appreciates after it runs out of gold or equivalently if a speculative attack can happen only after the country `naturally' runs out of reserves. We first show that Krugman's paradox is a very general phenomenon, which does not require mean-reverting processes for the fundamentals, and which can be present in discrete-time as well as in continuous-time models. We present several specific cases in which the paradox occurs, i.e., environments which do not support an equilibrium. Next we show that, contrary to Krugman's conjecture, it is not necessary to abandon the assumption of a perfectly fixed exchange rate in favour of a band system in order to recover a well-defined equilibrium. We propose two alternative ways of amending the model which produce an equilibrium and preserve the fixed exchange rate assumption.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 361.

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Date of creation: Dec 1989
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:361
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  1. Buiter, Willem H., 1986. "Borrowing to Defend the Exchange Rate and the Timing and Magnitude of Speculative Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 95, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul R. Krugman, 1987. "Trigger Strategies and Price Dynamics in Equity and Foreign Exchange Markets," NBER Working Papers 2459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kenneth A. Froot & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Stochastic Process Switching: Some Simple Solutions," NBER Working Papers 2998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  5. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-22, May.
  6. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
  7. Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1989. "The Linkage Between Speculative Attack and Target Zone Models of Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 2918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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