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Milton Friedman and Exchange Rates in Developing Countries

Summary:
Prof Sebastian Edwards of UCLA in this NBER WP: Milton Friedman’s famous 1953 essay, “The case for flexible exchange rates,” deals entirely with advanced nations. An interesting question is what Friedman thought about exchange rate and monetary regimes in emerging economies. In this paper I investigate how his views on the subject evolved through time. I analyze speeches, articles, and interviews. I examine his archives for correspondence and unpublished manuscripts. I show that for him flexible rates were a second best solution for middle income and poor nations. I also analyze Friedman’s role in Chile’s failed attempt, during the Pinochet regime, at using a fixed exchange rate to stabilize the economy and eliminate inflation.

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Prof Sebastian Edwards of UCLA in this NBER WP:

Milton Friedman’s famous 1953 essay, “The case for flexible exchange rates,” deals entirely with advanced nations. An interesting question is what Friedman thought about exchange rate and monetary regimes in emerging economies. In this paper I investigate how his views on the subject evolved through time. I analyze speeches, articles, and interviews. I examine his archives for correspondence and unpublished manuscripts. I show that for him flexible rates were a second best solution for middle income and poor nations. I also analyze Friedman’s role in Chile’s failed attempt, during the Pinochet regime, at using a fixed exchange rate to stabilize the economy and eliminate inflation.

Amol Agrawal
I am currently pursuing my PhD in economics. I have work-ex of nearly 10 years with most of those years spent figuring economic research in Mumbai’s financial sector.

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