Current Issues in Economics and Finance

Is the International Role of the Dollar Changing?

January 2010Volume 16, Number 1
JEL classification: F30, N10

Author: Linda S. Goldberg

Recently the U.S. dollar’s preeminence as an international currency has been questioned. The emergence of the euro, changes in the dollar’s value, and the financial market crisis have, in the view of many commentators, posed a significant challenge to the currency’s long-standing position in world markets. However, a study of the dollar across critical areas of international trade and finance suggests that the dollar has retained its standing in key roles. While changes in the global status of the dollar are possible, factors such as inertia in currency use, the large size and relative stability of the U.S. economy, and the dollar pricing of oil and other commodities will help perpetuate the dollar’s role as the dominant medium for international transactions.

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