Pros and Cons of a Pegged Exchange Rate
A pegged exchange rate, also known as fixed exchange rate refers to an exchange rate whereby the central bank or the government pins its official exchange rate to the currency of another country (s). Sometimes, the official currency exchange rate can also be tied to the price of gold. The purpose for undertaking such a measure is to enable the country to maintain the value of its currency within a narrowly inclined band.
There are several benefits that a country can achieve with a pegged exchange rate. Likewise, there are also demerits to taking such a step. One of the arguments in favor of a pegged exchange rate is that it ensures a reduced risk when it comes to global trade. When a particular country maintains a fixed exchange rate, buyers and sellers are able to easily come to an agreement on the price to be applied for commodities. After the contracts are sealed, there will be no risks resulting from changes in exchange rates, thus, enhancing investment.
A pegged exchange rate is also an ideal avenue to be pursued towards instilling discipline in the management of economies. A fixed exchange rate gives governments the authority of not following inflationary policies. As a result of this, there will be reduced risks when it comes to problems arising from balance of payments and unemployment. Thus, the economy will become competitive. A pegged exchange rate is an ideal incentive that can enable governments to keep inflation on the low.
On the other side of the coin, a pegged exchange rate creates an environment where there is dire need for large foreign exchange reserves. A government that has implemented the policy of a fixed exchange rate requires huge foreign currency reserves at its disposal in order to maintain that rate. The lower side of this is that such kinds of reserves come with opportunity costs that can be quite expensive to a country.
Another con of a pegged exchange rate is that it is not flexible and creates a condition for limitations. With a fixed exchange rate, it becomes challenging to make response to temporary shocks. This is because there is always no chance for devaluation when the exchange rate is fixed.
A pegged exchange rate can also lead to imbalances in current account. This is because with an exchange rate that is overvalued, there are higher chances for deficits in the current account. Another demerit of an exchange rate that is fixed is that it is usually not easy to determine the right time for a country to join. If a country implements the policy of a pegged exchange rate at a high, its exports will not be competitive. On the other hand, inflation can be experienced when the rate is too low.
Owing to the pros and cons of a fixed exchange rate that are outlined above, it is clear why most economies prefer to implement it. A fixed exchange rate comes with numerous comparative advantages for trade that can help a country in shielding its economic interests.