Exchange Rate Policy in Bangladesh: a Review of Key Concepts and Issues

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Exchange Rate Policy in Bangladesh: A Review of Key Concepts and Issues
In an open and deregulated economic environment, exchange rates can play an important role in macroeconomic management for stability and growth. The increasing role of exchange rates since the early 1970s has indeed been a break from the Bretton Woods tradition of the 1950s and 1960s that assigned a limited role for exchange rates in economic affairs. However, the banking and currency crises of the 1990s that afflicted many developing countries in different regions have provided a somber lesson that in a global economic setting, exchange rate policy, and monetary and financial policy more broadly, cannot be
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The long-run equilibrium exchange rate, in turn, could be defined as a value of the real exchange rate that is simultaneously consistent with internal and external balance of the economy (Edwards, 1989).2
Thus the rationale behind changing the nominal exchange rate under a fixed or pegged exchange rate system is easy to follow provided that the set rate is found to be far away from the optimal or equilibrium rate. However, why does the central bank need to manage exchange rates which are determined by market forces in case of independent floating? This remains a contentious issue. Essentially, the central bank is believed to determine the appropriate level (or path) of the nominal exchange rate and then intervene in foreign exchange markets to bring the actual exchange rate close to the appropriate level. In practical sense, the appropriate level of the exchange rate may represent the rate which, when translated into a real exchange rate, is consistent with the long-run equilibrium real exchange rate. Many economists of neoclassical persuasion believe that the market determined exchange rates broadly represent the long-run equilibrium exchange rates and there is no need for managing exchange rates or intervention in foreign exchange markets.

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