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A Proposed Monetary Regime for Small Commodity-Exporters: Peg the Export Price ("PEP")

  • Frankel, Jeffrey

    (Harvard U)

On the one hand, the big selling points of floating exchange rates - monetary independence and accommodation of terms of trade shocks - have not lived up to their promise. On the other hand, proposals for credible institutional monetary commitments to nominal anchors have each run aground on their own peculiar shoals. Rigid pegs to the dollar are dangerous when the dollar appreciates. Money targeting doesn't work when there is a velocity shock. CPI targeting is not viable when there is a large import price shock. And the gold standard fails when there are large fluctuations in the world gold market. This paper advances a new proposal called PEP: Peg the Export Price. Most applicable for countries that are specialized in the production of a particular mineral or agricultural product, the proposal calls on them to commit to fix the price of that commodity in terms of domestic currency. A series of simulations shows how such a proposal would have worked for oil producers over the period 1970-2000. The paths of real oil prices, exports, and debt are simulated under alternative regimes. An illustrative finding is that countries that suffered a declining world market in oil or other export commodities in the late 1990s, would under the PEP proposal have automatically experienced a depreciation and a boost to exports when it was most needed. The argument for PEP is that it simultaneously delivers automatic accommodation to terms of trade shocks, as floating exchange rates are supposed to do, while retaining the credibility-enhancing advantages of a nominal anchor, as dollar pegs are supposed to do.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp03-003.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp03-003
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  1. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "No Single Currency Regime is Right for All Countries or At All Times," NBER Working Papers 7338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  4. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1985. "Policy and Performance Links between LDC Debtors and Industrial Nations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 303-368.
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Stabilizing Properties of a Nominal GNP Rule," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 318-34, May.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2000. "When Capital Inflows Come to a Sudden Stop: Consequences and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 6982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 1982. "Explorations in the Gold Standard and Related Policies for Stabilizing the Dollar," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 111-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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