Document Type


Publication Date





Canada has perhaps the longest track record of adhering to a floating exchange rate regime, but it may well also have been the first country to adopt a managed float during the 1950s. In spite of criticisms levelled at the Canadian government’s decision to float the dollar, the remarkable feature of the behaviour of the exchange rate during the so-called float is the relative stability of the nominal exchange rate, and the small volatility in its movements. This article stresses the impact of foreign exchange intervention in limiting exchange rate appreciations and in moderating exchange rate volatility, using newly found, and heretofore unused, intervention data. Until now, all studies of Canada’s experience with the float have relied on official foreign exchange reserves data. A counterfactual experiment also suggests that nominal exchange rate levels, and variability, would have been different had there been no foreign exchange market intervention.


This article was originally published in European Review of Economic History, 13(3): 415-435. (c) 2009 European Historical Economics Society