Skip to main content

Special Drawing Rights

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), type of international monetary reserve currency established (1968) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Created in response to worries concerning the limitations of gold and dollars as the sole means of settling international accounts, SDRs are designed to augment international liquidity by supplementing the standard reserve currencies. SDRs are assigned to the accounts of IMF members in proportion to their contributions to the fund. Each participating country agrees to accept them as exchangeable for reserve currencies in the settlement of international accounts. Deficit countries can use them to purchase stronger currencies, which then can be used to pay off balance-of-payments debts. As nations adopted the current system of floating exchange rates (1973), the value of SDRs began to be set relative to a "basket" of major currencies. In 1981 the IMF reduced the basket to five currencies (the U.S. dollar, German Deutschmark, Japanese yen, French franc, and British pound); in 1999 the Deutschmark and franc were replaced by their equivalents in the euro. All IMF accounting is done in SDRs, and commercial banks accept SDR-denominated accounts. The IMF has the exclusive right of allocating SDRs; the last such allocation was made in 1981.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Special Drawing Rights." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Special Drawing Rights." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/special-drawing-rights

"Special Drawing Rights." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/special-drawing-rights

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.