Fear of Floating and De Facto Exchange Rate Pegs with Multiple Key Currencies
Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
October 1, 2008
International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 1121-1142, 2011
This paper adopts and develops the ‘fear of floating’ theory to explain the decision to implement a de facto peg, the choice of anchor currency among multiple key currencies and the role of central bank independence for these choices. We argue that since exchange rate depreciations are passed through into higher prices of imported goods, avoiding the import of inflation provides an important motive to de facto peg the exchange rate in import-dependent countries. This study shows that the choice of anchor currency is determined by the degree of dependence of the potentially pegging country on imports from the key currency country and on imports from the key currency area, consisting of all countries which have already pegged to this key currency. The fear of floating approach also predicts that countries with more independent central banks are more likely to de facto peg their exchange rate since indepen¬dent central banks are more averse to inflation than governments and can de facto peg a country’s exchange rate independently of the government.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Date posted: October 3, 2008 ; Last revised: August 5, 2012