The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Emerging markets (EMs) often respond to shocks by intervening in foreign exchange
(FX) markets and thus preventing full exchange rate adjustment. This response can serve to dampen the effect of shocks and increase monetary policy space but may also incentivize economic participants to increase risk taking and take on more FX debt. This paper empirically analyzes the role of exchange rate flexibility in affecting such risk taking, by using rolling correlations and difference-in-difference estimations. The results suggest that a shift towards greater exchange rate flexibility often coincides with a decline in external FX debt. The findings also highlight the importance of using complementary policies to deal with financial stability issues related to the exchange rate, such as FX-specific macroprudential policies and policies aimed at promoting financial development.