Canada's Pioneering Experience with a Flexible Exchange Rate in the 1950s:(Hard) Lessons Learned for Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy
52 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2007 Last revised: 3 Oct 2010
Date Written: November 2007
This paper revisits Canada's pioneering experience with floating exchange rate over the period 1950-1962. It examines whether the floating rate was the best option for Canada in the 1950s by developing and estimating a New Keynesian small open economy model of the Canadian economy. The model is then used to conduct a counterfactual analysis of the impact of different monetary policies and exchange rate regimes. The main finding indicates that the flexible exchange rate helped reduce the volatility of key macro-economic variables. The Canadian monetary authorities, however, clearly did not understand all of the implications of conducting monetary policy under a flexible exchange rate and a high degree of capital mobility. The paper confirms that monetary policy was more volatile in the post-1957 period and Canada's macroeconomic performance suffered as a result.
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