Advantages and Disadvantages of Floating Exchange Rates Economics


Sometimes floating exchange rate systems have operated flawlessly. At other times, floating rates have changed at breakneck speed, leaving traders, investors, and governments scrambling to adjust to the volatility. Similarly, fixed rates have at times been a salvation to a country, helping to reduce persistent inflation. At other times, countries with fixed exchange rates have been forced to import excessive inflation from the reserve country. Might hinder macroeconomic objectives – The fixed exchange rate system has been criticized for conflicts with other macroeconomic objectives, such as achieving sustainable economic growth. Under a fixed exchange rate system, the government sets a single currency value for all countries, which means that its value is not determined by market forces.

A pegged currency can help lower inflation rates and generate demand, which results from greater confidence in the stability of the currency. It was agreed that currencies would once again be fixed, or pegged, but this time to the U.S. dollar, which in turn was pegged to gold at $35 per ounce. This meant that the value of a currency was directly linked with the value of the U.S. dollar. Theoretically, identical assets should sell at the same price in different countries, because the exchange rate must maintain the inherent value of one currency against the other. The insolvency problem occurs because, in practice, the bank does not denominate its assets in terms of the foreign currency.

With trade, there is the danger under a floating exchange rate that a one-time appreciation will make your exporters uncompetitive until domestic prices adjust. Because the return on foreign investment is typically denominated in the foreign currency, a one-time exchange rate depreciation would lower the profitability of the investment held at the time of the depreciation. But it would have no effect on the profitability of new investment after the depreciation had ended. This model underlines the discussion of advantages and disadvantages presented in the first part of this report.

Worsening of Economic Issues

Moreover, expensive imports may worsen the country’s current account. It marks the most dramatic development in international finance since the collapse of the Bretton Woods system. A new currency, the euro, began trading among 11 European nations—Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain—in 1999. During a three-year transition, each nation continued to have its own currency, which traded at a fixed rate with the euro.

  • Under the Bretton Woods system, the United States had redeemed dollars held by other governments for gold; President Nixon terminated that policy as he withdrew the United States from the Bretton Woods system.
  • A floating exchange rate is the opposite of a fixed exchange rate.
  • A floating exchange rate functions in an open market where speculations, along with demand and supply forces, drive the price.
  • Is the standard rate set by a monetary authority concerning foreign currency.

As discussed later, problems with exchange rates usually arise when a government’s heart is not truly wedded to achieving its stated goal. This would make the country’s exports cheaper, thus increasing demand, while at the same time making imports expensive and decreasing demand. On the contrary, a balance of payments surplus would be automatically eliminated through a change in the exchange rate. Argentina established a currency board in 1991 and fixed its currency to the U.S. dollar.

Fixed Exchange Rates

Congress plays a role in promoting a stable and prosperous world economy. First, Congress has an interest in determining the most appropriate exchange rate regime for the United States to promote domestic economic stability. Second, it has an interest in understanding and influencing the exchange rate regime choices of other nations. Stable exchange rate regimes are a key element of a 11 best forex trading books you must read stable macroeconomic framework, and a stable macroeconomic framework is a prerequisite to a country’s development prospects. Probably the best reason to adopt a fixed exchange rate system is to commit to a loss in monetary autonomy. This is necessary whenever a central bank has been independently unable to maintain prudent monetary policy, leading to a reasonably low inflation rate.

Arbitrage is when one party takes advantage of a different price on two different markets. By having a fixed exchange rate, this opportunity is eliminated, which is an important safety feature. A floating exchange rate is one where the government doesn’t intervene in determining the exchange rate and it is determined by free market forces. While there are many different currencies, there are also many different types of exchange rates a country can choose between. In this explanation, we will look at one of these exchange rate types. Which of the following could not reasonably be considered an advantage of a flexible exchange rate?

  • Weakness in the Japanese economy, among other factors, led to a reduced demand for the baht (Panel ).
  • Sometimes, when a local currency reflects its true value against its pegged currency, an underground market may develop.
  • Congress is generally interested in promoting a stable and prosperous world economy.
  • Excessive government deficits and borrowing are the norm for both developing and developed countries.
  • Floating exchange rates tend to result in uncertainty as to the future rate at which currencies will exchange.

While each country makes its own decision to enter the market with a fixed or floating exchange rate, it is rare that a currency is wholly fixed or floating. This is due to the fact that there are a variety of market pressures constantly influencing exchange rates. So when demand for the US dollar increases, so too does its ‘strength’ or value. This means that those with US dollars are able to buy more goods from other countries. The floating exchange rate allows greater stability in this area as the currency is able to fluctuate. When the value of a currency decreases, it means that exports become cheaper to the rest of the world.

Example of Floating Exchange Rate

Government can interfere when the currency price is too high or too low to keep the currency at a favorable price. Due to speculations and demand and supply forces, the floating exchange price drives the price in an open market. The floating exchange rate represents economic growth through changes in long-term currency prices. If currency price changes in the short-run, it represents speculations, disasters, daily demand, and currency supply. When the demand is low, but supply will be high, the currency price will fall. When the demand increases, the supply will decrease, and the currency price will rise.

advantages of floating exchange rate

BOT is one of the significant components for any current economic asset as it measures a country’s net income earned on global investments. Hong Kong maintains a currency board with the United States, although China is its largest trading partner. Because China’s exchange rate is kept relatively constant tradingstrategyguides com on reddit.com against the dollar, however, a currency board with the dollar is nearly the same as maintaining one with the Chinese yuan. Although fiscal policy can still be used as an adjustment mechanism in countries with hard pegs, there are constraints on its effectiveness in most of these countries.

A floating rate is often termed “self-correcting,” as any differences in supply and demand will automatically be corrected in the market. If a currency is favorable, the floating exchange rate can benefit the country. But due to its volatile nature, investors might not want to take higher risks. The cost of hedging may be higher in countries with small, undeveloped financial markets, another reason why floating exchange rates may be less advantageous in small countries.

In reality, Americans hold only about one-tenth of their wealth in foreign assets. From equities, fixed income to derivatives, the CMSA certification bridges the gap from where you are now to where you want to be — a world-class capital markets analyst. “Does the Exchange Rate Regime Matter for Inflation and Growth.” Accessed Jan. 29, 2022. “Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions 2018.” Accessed Jan. 29, 2022. StudySmarter is commited to creating, free, high quality explainations, opening education to all. By registering you get free access to our website and app which will help you to super-charge your learning process.

Currency options for an independent Scotland

Initially, the equilibrium price of the British pound equals $4, the fixed rate between the pound and the dollar. Now suppose an increased supply of British pounds lowers the equilibrium price of the pound to $3. The Bank of England could purchase pounds by selling dollars in order to shift the demand curve for pounds to D2. Alternatively, the Fed could shift the demand curve to D2 by buying pounds.

The government does not intervene in the market at all to influence the exchange rate of the domestic currency. As with a hard peg, a fixed exchange rate has the advantage of promoting international trade and investment by eliminating exchange rate risk. Because the arrangement may be viewed by market participants as less permanent than a currency board, however, it may generate less trade and investment.

advantages of floating exchange rate

Although perhaps theoretically feasible, it would be impossible in practice to operate a timely or precise enough fiscal policy to maintain a fixed exchange rate as long as fiscal policy must be legislated. Thus, maintaining a fixed exchange rate has been delegated to the monetary authority in practice. The two main types of exchange rate systems come in either fixed or floating. The main difference is that the floating exchange rate is determined by supply and demand via an open market.

Fluctuation in the free market forces and the floating exchange rate

The different currencies are having negative consequences on the different economies around the globe. What will be the benefits of having a global currency, similar to the Euro? This led to Nixon taking the US off the gold standard, meaning nations could no longer convert US dollars for gold. This led to gold rising to $90 an ounce by early 1973 – later leading to the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement. Of fixed or floating, this system is often chosen by countries that in their recent history experienced very high inflation. This method is often used in the transition from a peg to a floating regime, and it allows the government to “save face” by not being forced to devalue in an uncontrollable crisis.

Without capital mobility, central banks could use their reserves to accommodate small changes in fundamentals and could respond to large changes in fundamentals with a orderly devaluation. As long as capital remains mobile—and almost nobody has supported a return to how to use moving average crossovers to enter trades permanent capital controls—the Bretton Woods arrangement cannot be replicated. It was not long after capital controls were removed that the Bretton Woods system experienced a growing number of currency crises in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to its eventual demise.

Imports become significantly more expensive, which puts pressure on value adding exporters. Furthermore, those businesses that import raw materials will see higher prices as a result. As a result of the floating exchange rate, investors look at fundamental attributes of an economy to determine its value. Such fundamentals include economic indicators such as growth and inflation. So when these values are performing poorly, it’s likely to lose value versus other currencies. The key to success in both fixed and floating rates hinges on prudent monetary and fiscal policies.


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