What are the differences between fixed and flexible exchange rates?
There may be variety of exchange rate systems (types) in the foreign exchange market. Its two broad types or systems are Fixed Exchange Rate and Flexible Exchange Rate as explained below.
Fixed exchange rate is the rate which is officially fixed by the government or monetary authority and not determined by market forces. Only a very small deviation from this fixed value is possible. In this system, foreign central banks stand ready to buy and sell their currencies at a fixed price. A typical kind of this system was used under Gold Standard System in which each country committed itself to convert freely its currency into gold at a fixed price.
The system of exchange rate in which rate of exchange is determined by forces of demand and supply of foreign exchange market is called Flexible Exchange Rate System. Here, value of currency is allowed to fluctuate or adjust freely according to change in demand and supply of foreign exchange.