NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Fixed Exchange Rates and Trade

Michael W. Klein, Jay C. Shambaugh

NBER Working Paper No. 10696
Issued in August 2004
NBER Program(s):   IFM   ITI

A classic argument for a fixed exchange rate is its promotion of trade. Empirical support for this, however, is mixed. While one branch of research consistently shows a small negative effect of exchange rate volatility on trade, another, more recent, branch presents evidence of a large positive impact of currency unions on trade. This paper helps resolve this disconnect. Our results, which use a new data-based classification of fixed exchange rate regimes, show a large, significant effect of a fixed exchange rate on bilateral trade between a base country and a country that pegs to it. Furthermore, the web of fixed exchange rates created when countries link to a common base also promotes trade, but only when these countries are part of a wider system, as during the Bretton Woods period. These results suggest an economically relevant role for exchange rate regimes in trade determination since a significant amount of world trade is conducted between countries with fixed exchange rates.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10696

Published: Klein, Michael W. & Shambaugh, Jay C., 2006. "Fixed exchange rates and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 359-383, December.

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