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By A.P. Thirlwall

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98 to £1. Otherwise more dolIars could be obtained per pound by converting pounds into dollars directly. 98 is referred to as country Y's gold-export point or X's gold-import point. 02 to £1. This would be X's gold-export point or Y's gold-import point. Thus under the gold standard the exchange rate may vary within the gold points . Outside these points , however, there will be no variation in the exchange rate; instead, gold will flow to accommodate any surplus or deficit on the balance of payments.

K. Experience anything, to do with the state of the real economy. An equilibrium exchange rate in a free market may coincide with balance-of-payments equilibrium in one sense but not in another . Changes in the balance of payments which affect people's real living standards are changes in the current balance and this may move into disequilibrium as the exchange market moves towards equilibrium. When balance-ofpayments adjustment policy is considered in detail later, particularly in Chapter 3, we will discuss many ways in which movements in the exchange rate towards a market-clearing equilibrium may be disequilibrating for the current balance of payments and, indeed , for the economy as a whole .

The loss of confidence in the dollar eventually became such that on IS August 1971 the convertibility of the dollar into gold was suspended and the gold exchange standard that had governed international monetary transactions for over twenty-five years was formall y ended. 25 per cent. The wider bands, however , were not sufficient to stop speculation against the weak currencies, particularly sterling , and an era of floating exchange rates was ushered in in 1972 with the United Kingdom's decision to float the pound .

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