The Impossible Trinity in China



The Impossible Trinity, also known as the trilemma, is a policy-choice problem based on the Mundell–Flemming model (Mundell 1963; Flemming 1962), which states that it is impossible for a country to have control of all three of the following variables at the same time (Figure 1.1): a fixed exchange rate (i.e. control of the exchange rate); an open capital account (i.e. control of the capital account); and an independent monetary policy (i.e. control of the interest rate). It is both a hypothesis based on the uncovered interest rate parity condition 1 and an empirical finding showing that governments that have tried to simultaneously pursue all three goals have failed.
Figure 1.1

The Impossible Trinity Source: Author.


Exchange Rate Foreign Direct Invest Capital Inflow Capital Account Exchange Rate Stability 
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Copyright information

© Chi Lo 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi Lo
    • 1
  1. 1.Economic StrategistHong Kong

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