The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper reviews the experience with floating interbank exchange rate systems in five developing countries--The Gambia, Guyana, Jamaica, Nigeria and Sri Lanka--and draws some conclusions about the stability and efficiency of these systems. The experience of these countries illustrates both the difficulties and the advantages of interbank exchange rate markets. The main conclusion is that these markets can operate relatively well with a minimum banking infrastructure, provided that the authorities remove legal and institutional impediments to the free operation of these markets including, in particular, exchange restrictions. Any residual restrictions that may remain will likely give rise to the continued existence of parallel markets.