IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When countries do not do what they say: Systematic discrepancies between exchange rate regime announcements and de facto policies


  • Bersch, Julia
  • Klüh, Ulrich H.


We study the apparent disconnect between what countries announce to be their exchange rate regime and what they de facto implement. Even though discrepancies between announcements and de facto polices are frequent, there is a lack of understanding of actual patterns and underlying reasons. We contribute to the literature by identifying a number of robust stylized facts by means of an in-depth analysis of a large cross-country dataset. A key insight is that countries that operate under intermediate de facto regimes tend to announce fixed or flexible exchange rate regimes. The exact nature of deviations is related to country characteristics such as trade structure, financial development, and financial openness. Furthermore, regime discrepancies have followed secular trends, which are most likely related to financial globalization and changes in monetary policy design.

Suggested Citation

  • Bersch, Julia & Klüh, Ulrich H., 2007. "When countries do not do what they say: Systematic discrepancies between exchange rate regime announcements and de facto policies," Discussion Papers in Economics 2072, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:2072

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2006. "What matters for financial development? Capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-192, October.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
    4. Husain, Aasim M. & Mody, Ashoka & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2005. "Exchange rate regime durability and performance in developing versus advanced economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 35-64, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Hans Genberg & Alexander K. Swoboda, 2005. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Does What Countries Say Matter?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(si), pages 1-8.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Kaminsky, Graciela Laura & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2002. "Short-run pain, long-run gain : the effects of financial liberalization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2912, The World Bank.
    10. Allan Drazen & Paul R. Masson, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 735-754.
    11. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    12. Reuven Glick & Michael M. Hutchison, 1999. "Banking and currency crises; how common are twins?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
    13. Gilda C Fernandez & Cem Karacadag & Rupa Duttagupta, 2004. "From Fixed to Float; Operational Aspects of Moving towards Exchange Rate Flexibility," IMF Working Papers 04/126, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Kuttner, Kenneth N & Posen, Adam S, 2001. "Beyond Bipolar: A Three-Dimensional Assessment of Monetary Frameworks," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 369-387, October.
    15. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(2), pages 143-197, June.
    16. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo & Stein, Ernesto, 2001. "Why do countries float the way they float?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 387-414, December.
    17. Reuven Glick & Ramon Moreno & Mark M. Spiegel, 2001. "Financial crises in emerging markets," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar.23.
    18. Aasim M. Husain & Ashoka Mody & Nienke Oomes & Robin Brooks & Kenneth Rogoff, 2003. "Evolution and Performance of Exchange Rate Regimes," IMF Working Papers 03/243, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Adolfo Barajas & Lennart Erickson & Roberto Steiner, 2008. "Fear of Declaring: Do Markets Care What Countries Say About Their Exchange Rate Policies?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 445-480, July.
    20. Michael W. Klein & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2006. "The Nature of Exchange Rate Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2005. "Peg the export price index: A proposed monetary regime for small countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 495-508, June.
    22. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
    23. Corden, W Max & Neary, J Peter, 1982. "Booming Sector and De-Industrialisation in a Small Open Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 825-848, December.
    24. Andrea Bubula & Inci Ötker, 2003. "Are Pegged and Intermediate Regimes More Crisis Prone?," IMF Working Papers 03/223, International Monetary Fund.
    25. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the empirics of Sudden Stops: the relevance of balance-sheet effects," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    26. 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.
    27. Dalia S Hakura, 2005. "Are Emerging Market Countries Learning to Float?," IMF Working Papers 05/98, International Monetary Fund.
    28. Ahmet Asici & Charles Wyplosz, 2003. "The Art of Gracefully Exiting a Peg," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 34(3), pages 211-228.
    29. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2001. "A "Vertical" Analysis of Crises and Intervention: Fear of Floating and Ex-ante Problems," NBER Working Papers 8428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Rancière, Romain & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Exchange rate volatility and productivity growth: The role of financial development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 494-513, May.
    31. Carmignani, Fabrizio & Colombo, Emilio & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2008. "Exploring different views of exchange rate regime choice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1177-1197, November.
    32. repec:rus:hseeco:181565 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. 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, July.
    34. Amartya Lahiri & Carlos A. Végh, 2002. "Living with the Fear of Floating: An Optimal Policy Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 663-704 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Holger C. Wolf, 2003. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Choices and Consequences," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072408, January.
    36. Alberto Alesina & Alexander F. Wagner, 2006. "Choosing (and Reneging on) Exchange Rate Regimes," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(4), pages 770-799, June.
    37. repec:hrv:faseco:34721963 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aysun, Uluc, 2008. "Automatic stabilizer feature of fixed exchange rate regimes," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 302-328, December.

    More about this item


    Exchange rate regimes; de facto versus de jure; exchange rate policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:2072. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tamilla Benkelberg). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.