Where Do We Stand On Choosing Exchange Rate Regimes in Developing and Emerging Economies?

Graham Bird

Published: March 2002

In the midst of a lively debate about international monetary reform at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there seemed to be a broad consensus about exchange rate policy in developing and emerging economies; that they should opt for one of the extremes in the form of either firm fixity or free flexibility. Intermediate solutions were ruled out. However, dissenting voices remained and have become more audible. This paper reviews the underlying theoretical issues and draws on case study experience to see whether clear conclusions emerge. The investigation shows that the choice of exchange rate regime continues to involve a careful weighing up of opposing arguments. It may therefore be unwise for the IMF to adopt the ‘consensus’ view. A more subtle made-to-measure approach is needed.

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