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By Carmen M. Reinhart

Essays via admired students and policymakers honor probably the most influential macroeconomists of the final thirty years, discussing the subjects in the back of his paintings.

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2003. Interest and Prices. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2 Optimal Exchange Rate Regimes: Turning MundellFleming’s Dictum on Its Head Amartya Lahiri, Rajesh Singh, and Carlos A. 1 Introduction One of the most influential results in open economy macroeconomics—which derives from the Mundell-Fleming model (see Mundell 1968 and Fleming 1962)— holds that the choice of the exchange rate regime should depend on the type of shock hitting the economy. If shocks are predominantly of real origin, then flexible exchange rates are optimal.

Since traders are indifferent, we conclude that flexible exchange rates dominate. What is the underlying intuition? The key lies in the role of the exchange rate as a shock absorber in the presence of velocity shocks. If velocity increases, the nominal exchange rate also increases (a nominal depreciation of the domestic currency), thus offsetting the shock. Under fixed exchange rates, the natural adjustment mechanism (the agents’ ability to recompose their nominal money balances through the central bank) is not fully operative because nontraders cannot access asset markets.

1977. ’’ In The Political Economy of Monetary Reforms, ed. Robert Z. Aliber, 59–73. Fleming, J. Marcus. 1962. ’’ IMF Staff Papers 9: 369–379. Lahiri, Amartya, Rajesh Singh, and Carlos A. Ve´gh. 2006. ’’ Mimeo, Iowa State University. ———. 2007. ’’ Journal of International Economics 72: 1–21. Lipschitz, Leslie. 1978. ’’ IMF Staff Papers 25: 650–675. , Jr. 1982. ’’ Journal of Monetary Economics 10: 335–359. Mulligan, Casey, and Xavier Sala-i-Martin. 2000. ’’ Journal of Political Economy 5: 961–991.

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