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How Tight Should One's Hands be Tied? Fear of Floating and the Credibility of Exchange Rate Regimes

Jesús Rodríguez-López () and Hugo Rodriguez Mendizabal ()

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2006, vol. 6, issue 1, 1-25

Abstract: The literature on exchange rate regimes has recently observed that officially self-declared free floaters intervene strongly in foreign exchange markets to maintain their nominal exchange rates within some unannounced bands. In this paper, we provide an explanation of this behavior, labeled by Calvo and Reinhart as fear of floating. First, we analyze the linkages between the credibility of the exchange rate regime, the volatility of the exchange rate, and the band width of fluctuations. Second, we use the model to understand the reduction in volatility experienced by most ERM countries after their target zones widened in August 1993. Finally, we solve the model for a subgame perfect equilibrium, in which fear of floating can be viewed as the credible choice of a finite non-zero band.

Date: 2006
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DOI: 10.2202/1534-5998.1401

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