December 21, 2002 A series of major international financial crises in the 1990s, and the recent introduction of the euro, have renewed interest in alternative exchange rate systems. The choice of exchange rate regime is particularly relevant for emerging-market countries because other countries are perceived either as having no alternative to their current exchange rate arrangement or as highly unlikely to change. This article examines the evolution of exchange rate regimes in emerging markets over the past decade and compares the strengths and weaknesses of the various available systems. These include intermediate regimes, such as the adjustable pegged exchange rate popular throughout much of the post—war period, and the two extreme exchange rate regimes: permanently fixed or freely floating exchange rate regimes. Two recently proposed alternatives are also evaluated: the Managed Floating Plus and Baskets, Bands, and Crawling Pegs. Both try to combine the best elements of the flexible and fixed exchange rate systems, but the Managed Floating Plus is deemed to be the more promising alternative.
Previous studies on whether the nature of the exchange rate regime influences a country's medium-term growth performance have been based on a tripartite classification scheme that distinguishes between pegged, intermediate, and flexible exchange rate regimes.