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Fixing for Your Life

  • Guillermo A. Calvo
  • Carmen M. Reinhart

The Asian crisis took place against a background of exchange rate regimes that were characterized as soft pegs. This has led many analysts to conclude that the peg did it' and that emerging markets (EMs) should just say no' to pegged exchange rates. We present evidence that EMs are very different from developed economies in key dimensions that play a key role when it comes to the choice of exchange rate regime--floating for EMs is no panacea. In EMs currency crashes are contractionary, the adjustments in the current account are far more acute. Credibility and market access, as captured in the behavior of credit ratings and interest rates, is adversely affected by devaluations or depreciations. Exchange rate volatility is more damaging to trade and the passthrough from exchange rate swings to inflation is far higher in EMs. These differences between emerging and developed economies may explain EMs reluctance to tolerate large exchange rate movements. In a simple framework we illustrate why large exchange rate swings are feared when access to international credit may be lost.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8006.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
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Publication status: published as Calvo, G. (ed.) Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2005.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8006
Note: IFM
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  1. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
  2. Morley, Samuel A, 1992. "On the Effect of Devaluation during Stabilization Programs in LDCs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 21-27, February.
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  10. Reinhart, Carmen, 2000. "The mirage of floating exchange rates," MPRA Paper 13736, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  13. Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto H. Stein, 2000. "Why Do Countries Float the Way They Float?," Research Department Publications 4205, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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  18. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Sovereign risk assessment and agency credit ratings," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 2(2), pages 247-256.
  19. Laura E. Kodres & Matthew Pritsker, 1998. "A rational expectations model of financial contagion," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Arize, Augustine C & Osang, Thomas & Slottje, Daniel J, 2000. "Exchange-Rate Volatility and Foreign Trade: Evidence from Thirteen LDC's," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(1), pages 10-17, January.
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