Exchange-Rate Policies For Developing Countries: What Have We Learned? What Do We Still Not Know?
The 1997–1998 Asian crisis, with its offshoots in Eastern Europe and Latin America, has reignited the debate about appropriate exchange-rate policies for developing countries. One widely shared conclusion from this episode is that adjustable or crawling pegs are extremely fragile in a world of volatile capital movements. The pressure resulting from massive capital flow reversals and weakened domestic financial systems was too strong even for countries that followed sound macroeconomic policies and had large stocks of reserves. As a consequence, the polar regimes of a "hard pegs" (such as a currency board), or a clean float, are enjoying new popularity. This paper argues that, while currency boards or even dollarization may be justified in some extreme cases, they are not appropriate for all developing countries. The recommendations formulated on the basis of the Mundell-McKinnon criteria for the optimum currency are considered still sensible today. Currency boards face serious implementation problems. One is the choice of the currency to peg to and at what rate; another is the need to ensure stability of the domestic financial system in the absence of a domestic lender of last resort. Floating appears to have wider applicability. As Friedman already argued in the early 1950s,if prices move slowly, it is both faster and less costly to move the nominal exchange rate in response to a shock that requires an adjustment in the real exchange rate. But for exchange-rate flexibility to be stabilizing, it has to be implemented by independent central banks whose commitment to low inflation is credible. Ongoing depreciations that follow from imprudent of opportunistic monetary behaviour will surely come to be expected by agents, and hence will have no real effect; occasional depreciations that respond exclusively to unforecastable shocks will, almost by definition, have real effects. But floating also faces questions of implementation. Given that no central bank completely abstains from intervention in currency markets, what principles should govern such intervention? The paper elaborates on a number of points in this regard on which recent experience is likely to be instructive, but on which more research is needed. Finally, any exchange-rate regime, and especially one of flexible rates, requires complementary policies to increase its chances of success. In this context, some have suggested the use of capital controls; less controversial is the need for prudential regulation of the financial system and for counter-cyclical fiscal policy.
|Date of creation:||2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +41 22 907 12 34
Fax: +41 22 907 00 43
Web page: http://www.unctad.org/Templates/Page.asp?intItemID=2101&lang=1
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Velasco, A. & Chang, R., 1998.
"The Asian Liquidity Crisis,"
98-27, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Chang, Roberto & Velasco, Andres, 2000.
"Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-34, May.
- Chang, R. & Velasco, A., 1998. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," Working Papers 98-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1997. "Financial fragility and the exchange rate regime," Working Paper 97-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1998. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," NBER Working Papers 6469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Montiel, Peter & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999.
"Do capital controls and macroeconomic policies influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s,"
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 619-635, August.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Montiel, Peter, 1999. "Do capital controls influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s," MPRA Paper 13710, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996.
"The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context,"
Research Department Publications
4026, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996. "The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 5819, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997.
"Destabilizing effects of exchange-rate escape clauses,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 61-77, August.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt15n3p5dt, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Maurice Obstfeld., 1996. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-075, University of California at Berkeley.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," CEPR Discussion Papers 518, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1991. "Destabilizing Effects of Exchange-Rate Escape Clauses," NBER Working Papers 3603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994.
"Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux,"
NBER Working Papers
4693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Scholarly Articles 12491026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," CEPR Discussion Papers 1131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C95-048, University of California at Berkeley.
- Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1998. "The Morning After: The Mexican Peso in the Aftermath of the 1994 Currency Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996.
"The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems,"
International Finance Discussion Papers
544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- 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.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Demirguc-Kent, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica, 1998.
"Financial liberalization and financial fragility,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1917, The World Bank.
- Corsetti, G. & Pesenti, P. & Roubini, N., 1998.
"What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?,"
343, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "What caused the Asian currency and financial crisis?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-373, October.
- Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 343, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Ricardo Hausmann & Michael Gavin & Carmen Pagés-Serra & Ernesto H. Stein, 1999. "Financial Turmoil and Choice of Exchange Rate Regime," Research Department Publications 4170, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Herrendorf, Berthold, 1997. "Importing Credibility through Exchange Rate Pegging," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 687-94, May.
- Herrendorf, Berthold, 1999. "Transparency, reputation, and credibility under floating and pegged exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 31-50, October.
- Laurence Ball, 1998.
"Policy Rules for Open Economies,"
NBER Working Papers
6760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000.
"Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity,"
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
- Mussa, Michael, 1986. "Nominal exchange rate regimes and the behavior of real exchange rates: Evidence and implications," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 117-214, January.
- Paul R. Krugman, 1988.
"Target Zones and Exchange Rate Dynamics,"
NBER Working Papers
2481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Williamson, John, 1998.
"Crawling Bands or Monitoring Bands: How to Manage Exchange Rates in a World of Capital Mobility,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 59-79, October.
- John Williamson, 1999. "Crawling Bands or Monitoring Bands: How to Manage Exchange Rates in a World of Capital Mobility," Policy Briefs PB99-03, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
- Velasco, Andres, 1996. "Fixed exchange rates: Credibility, flexibility and multiplicity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1023-1035, April.
- Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & JÃ¼rgen Von Hagen, 1999. "Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Latin America: The Case for a National Fiscal Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 415-442, October.
- Miguel A. Savastano & Paul R. Masson & Sunil Sharma, 1997. "The Scope for Inflation Targeting in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/130, International Monetary Fund.
- Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
- Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unc:g24pap:5. 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: (Joerg Mayer)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.