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Currency Boards in the Baltic Countries: What Have We Learned?

Straightforward exchange rate arrangements known as currency boards have gained popularity during the past dec-ade. Among transition economies, Estonia first introduced a currency board in 1992, followed by Lithuania in 1994 and Bulgaria in 1997. Currency boards have been useful in achieving macroeconomic stabilization, and they may have helped the Baltics become the first countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) to achieve economic growth after the slump in production of the early 1990s. Moreover, Baltic inflation performance has been substantially better than in other FSU countries. Both in Estonia and Lithuania, the present exchange rate system has been ac-companied by strong real appreciation of the currency. Both in Estonia and Lithuania the present exchange rate system has been accompanied by strong real appreciation of the currency, although it is widely accepted that the currencies were very much undervalued at the beginning of their pegs. However, if rapid real appreciation is ac-companied with increases in the labor productivity, the present pegs can be maintained. Banking crises in Estonia and Lithuania have not been particularly severe, so apparently rigid currency pegs have not been accompanied by excessive financial sector instability. The tight fiscal policies pursued in both countries, especially Estonia, have been instrumental to the success of these currency board arrangements.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/dp0699.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 6/1999.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 14 Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:1999_006
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/
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  1. repec:imf:imfpdp:9711 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Williamson, 1995. "What Role of Currency Boards?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa40.
  4. Fleming, Alex & Lily Chu & Bakker, Marie-Renee, 1996. "The Baltics - Banking crises observed," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1647, The World Bank.
  5. Atish R. Ghosh, 1998. "Currency Boards; The Ultimate Fix?," IMF Working Papers 98/8, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Loungani, Prakash & Sheets, Nathan, 1997. "Central Bank Independence, Inflation, and Growth in Transition Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 381-99, August.
  7. Yum K. Kwan & Francis T. Lui, 1996. "Hong Kong's Currency Board and Changing Monetary Regimes," NBER Working Papers 5723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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