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 provides an analytic overview of independent currency authorities (ICAs), sometimes called currency boards. ICAs issue and redeem domestic currency against an exchange standard on demand and back such operations through a 100 percent marginal foreign reserve cover. They also impose significant constraints on the banking system and the budget of the country that operates them. When supporting institutions have been put in place, ICAs appear to have promoted price stability, foreign trade, saving, and investment.