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Friedman Redux; External Adjustment and Exchange Rate Flexibility

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  • Atish R. Ghosh
  • Mahvash S Qureshi
  • Charalambos G Tsangarides

Abstract

Milton Friedman argued that flexible exchange rates would facilitate external adjustment. Recent studies find surprisingly little robust evidence that they do. We argue that this is because they use composite (or aggregate) exchange rate regime classifications, which often mask very heterogeneous bilateral relationships between countries. Constructing a novel dataset of bilateral exchange rate regimes that differentiates by the degree of exchange rate flexibility, as well as by direct and indirect exchange rate relationships, for 181 countries over 1980–2011, we find a significant and empirically robust relationship between exchange rate flexibility and the speed of external adjustment. Our results are supported by several “natural experiments” of exogenous changes in bilateral exchange rate regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Atish R. Ghosh & Mahvash S Qureshi & Charalambos G Tsangarides, 2014. "Friedman Redux; External Adjustment and Exchange Rate Flexibility," IMF Working Papers 14/146, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Jaewoo Lee, 2013. "Accounting for Global Dispersion of Current Accounts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 477-496, July.
    2. Dong, Wei, 2012. "The role of expenditure switching in the global imbalance adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 237-251.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48.
    4. Hamid Faruqee & Jaewoo Lee, 2009. "Global Dispersion of Current Accounts: Is the Universe Expanding?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 574-595, August.
    5. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "Wearing corset, losing shape: The euro's effect on trade imbalances," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-155.
    6. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2008. "The Estimated Effects of the Euro on Trade: Why Are They Below Historical Effects of Monetary Unions Among Smaller Countries?," NBER Working Papers 14542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Menzie D. Chinn & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "A Faith-Based Initiative Meets the Evidence: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 168-184, March.
    8. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
    9. Sabine Herrmann, 2009. "Do We Really Know That Flexible Exchange Rates Facilitate Current Account Adjustment? Some New Empirical Evidence for CEE Countries," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(4), pages 295-312.
    10. Ghosh, Atish R. & Qureshi, Mahvash S. & Tsangarides, Charalambos G., 2013. "Is the exchange rate regime really irrelevant for external adjustment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 104-109.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:34721963 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ecr:col070:42014 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eguren Martin, Fernando, 2016. "Exchange rate regimes and current account adjustment: An empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 69-93.
    3. Alberto Fuertes, 2017. "Exchange rate regime and external adjustment: an empirical investigation for the U.S," Working Papers 1717, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

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