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Fixed Exchange Rates and Trade

  • Michael W. Klein
  • Jay C. Shambaugh

A classic argument for a fixed exchange rate is its promotion of trade. Empirical support for this, however, is mixed. While one branch of research consistently shows a small negative effect of exchange rate volatility on trade, another, more recent, branch presents evidence of a large positive impact of currency unions on trade. This paper helps resolve this disconnect. Our results, which use a new data-based classification of fixed exchange rate regimes, show a large, significant effect of a fixed exchange rate on bilateral trade between a base country and a country that pegs to it. Furthermore, the web of fixed exchange rates created when countries link to a common base also promotes trade, but only when these countries are part of a wider system, as during the Bretton Woods period. These results suggest an economically relevant role for exchange rate regimes in trade determination since a significant amount of world trade is conducted between countries with fixed exchange rates.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10696.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Publication status: published as Klein, Michael W. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2006. "Fixed exchange rates and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 359-383, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10696
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