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A Faith-based Initiative: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?

  • Chinn, Menzie David
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

The assertion that a flexible exchange rate regime would facilitate current account adjustment is often repeated in policy circles. In this paper, we compile a data set encompassing data for over 170 countries over the 1971-2005 period, and examine whether the rate of current account reversion depends upon the de facto degree of exchange rate fixity, as measured by two popular indices. We find that there is no strong, robust, or monotonic relationship between exchange rate regime flexibility and the rate of current account reversion, even after accounting for the degree of economic development, the degree of trade and capital account openness. We also find that the endogenous selection of exchange rate regimes does not explain the observed lack of correlation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7076.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7076
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  1. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2006. "What matters for financial development? Capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-192, October.
  2. Baxter, Marianne & Stockman, Alan C., 1989. "Business cycles and the exchange-rate regime : Some international evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 377-400, May.
  3. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Current Account Adjustment: Some New Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry Eichengreen & Raul Razo-Garcia, 2006. "The international monetary system in the last and next 20 years," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 393-442, 07.
  5. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, August.
  6. Robert P. Flood & Andrew K. Rose, 1993. "Fixing Exchange Rates: A Virtual Quest for Fundamentals," NBER Working Papers 4503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 191-219, June.
  9. Menzie D. Chinn, 2005. "A Primer on Real Effective Exchange Rates: Determinants, Overvaluation, Trade Flows and Competitive Devaluation," NBER Working Papers 11521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Federico Sturzenegger, 2003. "To Float or to Fix: Evidence on the Impact of Exchange Rate Regimes on Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1173-1193, September.
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