By John Mills (auth.)
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Extra info for Exchange Rate Alignments
The policy instrument available to any sovereign government to provide growth conditions is to position the exchange rate at a level which will enable its country’s goods and services to compete successfully both at home and in world markets. The theme which runs through this book is that history has been shaped to a much greater degree than most people realise by the exchange-rate policies which the governments of all the world’s economies have pursued. Decisions taken on such matters as interest rates, the control of the money supply, the systems for regulating the creation and control of credit, and fixing the exchange rate have been crucial.
In the last analysis, wage costs per hour are what count, yet whatever they are, they can always be made internationally competitive or otherwise by picking the right or wrong exchange rate. Third, there have been serious misunderstandings about the role and importance of manufacturing. It is true that as economies become more advanced and the standard of living rises, there is a tendency for the proportion of the GDP involved in the production of services to rise in relation to the ratio involved in manufacturing.
Monetarists have built up an elaborate theory intended to prove that there is an equilibrium exchange rate towards which every parity tends strongly to return. The traditional form of this theory was known as the Law of One Price, and the modern form is sometimes referred to as International Monetarism. It states that if attempts are made by the authorities to move to a parity away from the one established as the equilibrium point by the markets, then differential rates of inflation will soon pull it back to where it should be.