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The Mirage of Exchange Rate Regimes for Emerging Market Countries

  • Guillermo Calvo
  • Frederic S. Mishkin

This paper argues that much of the debate on choosing an exchange rate regime misses the boat. It begins by discussing the standard theory of choice between exchange rate regimes, and then explores the weaknesses in this theory, especially when it is applied to emerging market economies. It then discusses a range of institutional traits that might predispose a country to favor either fixed or floating rates, and then turns to the converse question of whether the choice of exchange rate regime may favor the development of certain desirable institutional traits. The conclusion from the analysis is that the choice of exchange rate regime is likely to be of second order importance to the development of good fiscal, financial, and monetary institutions in producing macroeconomic success in emerging market countries. This suggests that less attention should be focused on the general question whether a floating or a fixed exchange rate is preferable, and more on these deeper institutional arrangements. A focus on institutional reforms rather than on the exchange rate regime may encourage emerging market countries to be healthier and less prone to the crises that we have seen in recent years.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9808.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Publication status: published as Calvo, Guillermo A. and Frederic S. Mishkin. "The Mirage Of Exchange Rate Regimes For Emerging Market Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2003, v17(4,Fall), 99-118.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9808
Note: IFM ME
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  10. Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi & Guillermo A. Calvo, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," Research Department Publications 4299, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. 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.
  12. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "Asymmetric Information and Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 3400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Honig, Adam, 2009. "Dollarization, exchange rate regimes and government quality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 198-214, March.
  28. 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.
  29. Edwards, Sebastian, 2001. "Dollarization: Myths and realities," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 249-265, April.
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  38. repec:rus:hseeco:72137 is not listed on IDEAS
  39. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2001. "Capital markets and the exchange rate with special reference to the dollarization debate in Latin America," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 312-338.
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