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Assessing the Equilibrium Exchange Rate of the Malaysian Ringgit: A Comparison of Alternative Approaches

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Drawing on the behavioral equilibrium exchange rate and the fundamental equilibrium exchange rate approaches, this paper assesses the equilibrium value of the real effective exchange rate of the Malaysian ringgit over the past 25 years. For 2005, when the Malaysian authorities exited from the peg with the US dollar, both models determine a slight undervaluation of the currency. Openness and real GDP per capita have been the main drivers of real exchange rate movements in the past, although non-tradable productivity, government consumption, and net foreign assets have also had a sizable impact. The paper also highlights the limitations of applying the two approaches in the context of emerging countries.
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Keywords: F3; F31; F32; Malaysia; behavioral equilibrium exchange rate; equilibrium real exchange rate; fundamental equilibrium exchange rate; real exchange rate misalignment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: WHU, Otto Beisheim School of Management, Department of Economics, Burgplatz 2, 56179 Vallendar, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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