IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Return to Soft Dollar Pegging in East Asia. Mitigating Conflicted Virtue

  • Ronald McKinnon

    (Stanford University)

  • Gunther Schnabl

    (Tuebingen University)

Before the 1997-98 crisis, the East Asian economies—except for Japan—informally pegged their currencies to the dollar. These soft pegs made them vulnerable to a depreciating yen thereby aggravating the crisis. To limit future misalignments, the IMF wants East Asian currencies to float freely. Alternatively, authors have proposed increasing the weight of the yen in East Asian currency baskets. However, dollar pegs are entirely rational from the perspective of each Asian country—both to facilitate hedging by merchants and banks against exchange risk, and to help central banks anchor their domestic price levels. Post-crisis, as the East Asian economies transform themselves from being dollar debtors into dollar creditors, they face “conflicted virtue”: pressure to appreciate their currencies that could lead to a defla-tionary spiral. Rather than undervaluing their currencies to promote exports as is commonly alleged, East Asian governments are trapped into returning to—and then maintaining—soft dollar pegs.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0406007.

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jun 2004
Date of revision: 07 Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0406007
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 38
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1992. "Yen bloc or dollar bloc: exchange rate policies of the East Asian economies," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "China: A Stabilizing or Deflationary Influence in East Asia? THe Problem of Conflict Virtue," Working Papers 232003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  4. Fernald, John & Edison, Hali & Loungani, Prakash, 1999. "Was China the first domino? Assessing links between China and other Asian economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 515-535, August.
  5. Leonardo Hernández & Peter J. Montiel, 2002. "Post-crisis exchange rate policy in five Asian countries: filling in the "hollow middle"?," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 2002-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Contagion and Trade: Why Are Currency Crises Regional?," NBER Working Papers 6806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
  9. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2003. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Working Papers 112003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  10. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eric Hillebrand & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The Effects of Japanese Foreign Exchange Intervention, GARCH Estimation and Change Point Detection," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 7, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  12. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
  13. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini & Cedric Tille, 1999. "Competitive Devaluations: A Welfare-Based Approach," NBER Working Papers 6889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 1994. "Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_94-1, December.
  15. Schnabl, Gunther & Baur, Dirk, 2002. "Purchasing power parity: Granger causality tests for the yen-dollar exchange rate," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 425-444, December.
  16. Eiji Ogawa & Takatoshi Ito, 2000. "On the Desirability of a Regional Basket Currency Arrangement," NBER Working Papers 8002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Andrew Berg & Paolo Mauro & Michael Mussa & Alexander K. Swoboda & Esteban Jadresic & Paul R. Masson, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes in an Increasingly Integrated World Economy," IMF Occasional Papers 193, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Rishi Goyal & Ronald McKinnon, 2003. "Japan's Negative Risk Premium in Interest Rates: The Liquidity Trap and the Fall in Bank Lending," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 339-363, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0406007. 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: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.