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The Currency-Plus-Commodity Basket: A Proposal for Exchange Rates in Oil-exporting Countries to Accommodate Trade Shocks Automatically

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  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

    () (Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University)

Abstract

The paper proposes an exchange rate regime for oil-exporting countries. The goal is to achieve the best of both flexible and fixed exchange rates. The arrangement is designed to deliver monetary policy that counteracts rather than exacerbates the effects of swings in the oil market, while yet offering the day-to-day transparency and predictability of a currency peg. The proposal is to peg the national currency to a basket, but a basket that includes not only the currencies of major trading partners (in particular, the dollar and the euro), but also the export commodity (oil). The plan is called Currency-plus-Commodity Basket (CCB). The paper begins by fleshing out the need for an innovative arrangement that allows accommodation to trade shocks. The analysis provides evidence from six Gulf countries that periods when their currencies were “undervalued”, in the sense that the actual foreign exchange value lay below what it would have been under the CCB proposal, were periods of overheating as reflected in high inflation and of external imbalance as reflected in high balance of payments surpluses. Conversely, periods when the currencies were “overvalued,” in the sense that their foreign exchange value lay above what it would have been under CCB, featured unusually low inflation and low balance of payments. These results are suggestive of the implication that the economy would have been more stable under CCB. The last section of the paper offers a practical blueprint for detailed implementation of the proposal.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2017. "The Currency-Plus-Commodity Basket: A Proposal for Exchange Rates in Oil-exporting Countries to Accommodate Trade Shocks Automatically," Working Papers 1111, Economic Research Forum, revised 06 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:1111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Fajnzylber, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2001. "Verifying exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 351-386, December.
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    8. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Andrés Velasco, 2012. "Macroeconomic Performance During Commodity Price Booms and Busts," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(4), pages 570-599, December.
    9. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    11. Willem H. Buiter, 2010. "Economic, Political and Institutional Prerequisites for Monetary Union Among the Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council," Chapters,in: Currency Union and Exchange Rate Issues, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2017. "How to Cope with Volatile Commodity Export Prices: Four Proposals," Working Paper Series rwp17-033, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Mohamed Benkhodja & Tovonony Razafindrabe, 2018. "Monetary Policy, Oil Stabilization Fund and the Dutch Disease," Working Papers hal-01796312, HAL.
    3. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2017. "Systematic Managed Floating," Working Paper Series rwp17-025, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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