NBER Working Paper No. 10032
Issued in October 2003
The paper reviews recent trends in thinking on exchange rate regimes. It begins by classifying countries into regimes, noting the distinction between de facto and de jure regimes, but also noting the low correlation among proposed ways of classifying the latter. The advantages of fixed exchange rates versus floating are reviewed, including the recent evidence on the trade-promoting effects of currency unions. Frameworks for tallying up the pros and cons include the traditional Optimum Currency Area criteria, as well as some new criteria from the experiences of the 1990s. The Corners Hypothesis may now be peaking' as rapidly as it rose, in light of its lack of foundations. Empirical evidence regarding the economic performance of different regimes depends entirely on the classification scheme. A listing of possible nominal anchors alongside exchange rates observes that each candidate has its own vulnerability, leading to the author's proposal to Peg the Export Price (PEP). The concluding section offers some implications for East Asia.