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Post-crisis exchange rate policy in five Asian countries: filling in the "hollow middle"?



Following the 1997-1998 financial turmoil, crisis countries in Asia moved toward either floating or fixed exchange rate systems, superficially consistent with the bipolar view of exchange rate regimes and the "hollow middle" hypothesis. But some observers have claimed that, despite the changes in their de jure exchange rate regimes, the crisis countries' policies have de facto been very similar in the post- and pre-crisis periods. This paper analyzes the evidence and concludes that, except for Malaysia, which adopted a hard peg and imposed capital controls, crisis countries are floating more than before, though less than "real" floaters do. But the intermediate exchange rate policies pursued by most of the crisis countries during the post-crisis period can be justified on second-best arguments.

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