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Holger C. Wolf

Holger C. Wolf is Associate Professor at the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University. Wolf is co-author (with Anne-Marie Gulde and Atish R. Ghosh) of Exchange Rate Regimes: Choice and Consequences (MIT Press, 2003).

Titles by This Author

Currency boards, more so than other exchange rate regimes, have come in and out of fashion. Defined by a fixed exchange rate with full convertibility, central bank liabilities backed with foreign exchange reserves, and a high cost of exiting the regime, currency boards were common in colonial times--until most were cast off as countries gained independence after World War II.

Choices and Consequences

Few topics in international economics are as controversial as the choice of an exchange rate regime. Since the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970s, countries have adopted a wide variety of regimes, ranging from pure floats at one extreme to currency boards and dollarization at the other. While a vast theoretical literature explores the choice and consequences of exchange rate regimes, the abundance of possible effects makes it difficult to establish clear relationships between regimes and common macroeconomic policy targets such as inflation and growth.