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The Nature of Exchange Rate Regimes


  • Michael W. Klein
  • Jay C. Shambaugh


The impermanence of fixed exchange rates has become a stylized fact in international finance. The combination of a view that pegs do not really peg with the "fear of floating" view that floats do not really float generates the conclusion that exchange rate regimes are, in practice, unimportant for the behavior of the exchange rate. This is consistent with evidence on the irrelevance of a country's choice of exchange rate regime for general macroeconomic performance. Recently, though, more studies have shown the exchange rate regime does matter in some contexts. In this paper, we attempt to reconcile the perception that fixed exchange rates are only a "mirage" with the recent research showing the effects of fixed exchange rates on trade, monetary autonomy, and growth. First we demonstrate that, while pegs frequently break, many do last and those that break tend to reform, so a fixed exchange rate today is a good predictor that one will exist in the future. Second, we study the exchange rate effect of fixed exchange rates. Fixed exchange rates exhibit greater bilateral exchange rate stability today and in the future. Pegs also display somewhat lower multilateral volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael W. Klein & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2006. "The Nature of Exchange Rate Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12729
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
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    7. Jorge Carrera & Guillermo Vuletin, 2003. "The Effects of Exchange Rate Regimes on Real Exchange Rate Volatility. A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] c67, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    8. Paul Masson & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2005. "Explaining the Transition between Exchange Rate Regimes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 261-278, June.
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    13. Klein, Michael W. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2006. "Fixed exchange rates and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 359-383, December.
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    15. repec:hrv:faseco:34721963 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Terence Tai-Leung Chong & Qing He & Wing Hong Chan, 2016. "From Fixed to Float: A Competing Risks Analysis," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 488-503, October.
    2. Frankel, Jeffrey & Saravelos, George, 2012. "Can leading indicators assess country vulnerability? Evidence from the 2008–09 global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 216-231.
    3. Cerra, Valerie & Saxena, Sweta Chaman, 2010. "The monetary model strikes back: Evidence from the world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 184-196, July.
    4. Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico & Reggio, Iliana, 2010. "On the endogeneity of exchange rate regimes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 659-677, July.
    5. Christofides, Charis & Eicher, Theo S. & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2016. "Did established Early Warning Signals predict the 2008 crises?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 103-114.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.
    7. Marcel Fratzscher, 2008. "US shocks and global exchange rate configurations," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 363-409, April.
    8. Klein, Michael W. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2008. "The dynamics of exchange rate regimes: Fixes, floats, and flips," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 70-92, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Huang, Xiaobing, 2017. "Exchange rate movements and export market dynamics: Evidence from China," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-13, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Hiroya Akiba & Yukihiro Iida & Yoshihiro Kitamura, 2009. "The optimal exchange rate regime for a small country," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 315-343, October.
    12. Kurokawa, Yoshinori & Pang, Jiaren & Tang, Yao, 2016. "Exchange rate regimes and wage comovements in a Ricardian model with money," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 96-109.
    13. Li, Hongbin & Ma, Hong & Xu, Yuan, 2015. "How do exchange rate movements affect Chinese exports? — A firm-level investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 148-161.
    14. Jeffrey A. Frankel & George Saravelos, 2010. "Are Leading Indicators of Financial Crises Useful for Assessing Country Vulnerability? Evidence from the 2008-09 Global Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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