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De Jure Versus De Facto Exchange Rate Regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Slavi T Slavov

Abstract

There are 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with floating exchange rate regimes, de jure. Some target the money supply or the inflation rate; others practice "managed floating." Statistical analysis on monthly data for the past decade reveals that in most cases these exchange rate regimes can be approximated surprisingly well by a soft peg to a basket dominated by the US dollar. The weight on the dollar appears to have fallen somewhat across the continent in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Replicating the model with weekly data for The Gambia suggests that the focus on the dollar might be even more pronounced at higher data frequencies. While there might be strong arguments in favor of limiting exchange rate volatility in SSA countries, soft-pegging to the dollar does not appear to be the best fit for them, given the currency structure of their external trade and finance. The paper concludes by discussing some policy options for SSA countries with flexible exchange rates, in the context of an illustrative recent country case.

Suggested Citation

  • Slavi T Slavov, 2011. "De Jure Versus De Facto Exchange Rate Regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 11/198, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffrey Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "Estimation of De Facto Exchange Rate Regimes: Synthesis of the Techniques for Inferring Flexibility and Basket Weights," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 384-416, July.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fixing for Your Life," NBER Working Papers 8006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo & Stein, Ernesto, 2001. "Why do countries float the way they float?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 387-414.
    5. Eduardo Borensztein & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 236-261, June.
    6. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2005. "Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033348, January.
    7. Reinhart, Carmen & Borensztein, Eduardo, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices," MPRA Paper 6979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cham, Tamsir, 2015. "An Assessment of External Price Competitiveness for The Gambia," Working Papers 1436-8, The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI).
    2. repec:kap:iecepo:v:14:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10368-016-0341-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tamsir Cham, 2016. "An Assessment of External Price Competitiveness for the Gambia," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 3(4), pages 207-216, November.
    4. Simatele, Munacinga & Sjö, Bo & Sweeny, Richard, 2016. "Do Developing Countries Lose Money on Central Bank Intervention? The Case of Zambia in Copper-Market Boom and Bust," LiU Working Papers in Economics 2, Linköping University, Division of Economics, Department of Management and Engineering.
    5. Rasaki, Mutiu Gbade & Malikane, Christopher, 2015. "Macroeconomic shocks and fluctuations in African economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 675-696.

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