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Atish R. Ghosh

Atish R. Ghosh is the Historian of the International Monetary Fund.Ghosh is coauthor (with Holger C. Wolf and Anne-Marie Gulde) of Exchange Rate Regimes: Choice and Consequences (MIT Press, 2003).

Titles by This Author

A Policy Guide

While always episodic in nature, capital flows to emerging market economies have been especially volatile since the global financial crisis. After peaking at $680 billion in 2007, flows to emerging markets turned negative at the onset of crisis in 2008, then rebounded only to recede again during the U.S. sovereign debt downgrade in 2011. Since then, flows have continued to swing wildly, leaving emerging market policy makers wondering whether they can put in place policies during the inflow phase that will soften the blow when flows subsequently recede.

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.