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

  • Menzie D. Chinn

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

  • Shang-Jin Wei

    (Columbia University)

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 Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 122009.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:122009
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  1. Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt5pv1j341, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 191-219, June.
  6. Flood, Robert P. & Rose, Andrew K., 1995. "Fixing exchange rates A virtual quest for fundamentals," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 3-37, August.
  7. Menzie Chinn, 2006. "A Primer on Real Effective Exchange Rates: Determinants, Overvaluation, Trade Flows and Competitive Devaluation," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 115-143, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Current Account Adjustment: Some New Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
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