The crrency board debate of the 1940s-1960s



Abstract. The late 1940s to the 1960s featured a sustained debate about currency boards in underdeveloped (or, in today’s parlance, developing) economies and their desirability compared to the alternative of central banking. Critics of currency boards found fault with them for the foregone cost of their “idle reserves,” their implied deflationary bias, their lack of discretionary monetary policy, and their lack of a lender of last resort, among other things. Defenders of the currency board system argued that the criticisms were either incorrect or irrelevant. After carefully reviewing the debate, I opine on it, coming down mainly on the side of the defenders of currency boards.

Keywords. Currency board; Debate.

JEL. B27, E59, F33, N10.


Currency board; Debate.

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