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Can Jurisdictional Uncertainty and Capital Controls Explain the High Level of Real Interest Rates in Brazil? Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Fernando M Gonçalves
  • Marcio Holland
  • Andrei Spacov

Abstract

The phenomenon of high and persistent short-term real interest rates in Brazil has stimulated an extensive literature attempting to explain its causes. Among the various contributions on the topic, one that has received considerable attention is the article by Arida, Bacha, and Lara-Resende (2004) (henceforth, ABL), which argues that risks associated with the jurisdiction and currency inconvertibility are relevant determinants of the level of short-term real interest rates. In the present paper, we formulate a methodology based on ABL's definition of jurisdiction uncertainty, use a set of institutional variables that proxy the degree of jurisdictional uncertainty, build an index of currency inconvertibility based on capital controls and use them to test ABL's conjecture and variants of it. The results are by and large unfavorable not only to ABL's conjecture, but also to variants of their argument. The results further indicate that traditional monetary and fiscal factors are far more relevant to explain the level of short-term real interest rates than the binomial jurisdictional uncertainty/ currency inconvertibility is.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its journal Revista Brasileira de Economia.

Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 49-76

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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgrbe:v:61:n:1:a:3

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  1. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
  2. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  4. Olivier Blanchard, 2004. "Fiscal Dominance and Inflation Targeting: Lessons from Brazil," NBER Working Papers 10389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carlo Ambrogio Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Why are Brazil´s Interest Rates so High?," Working Papers 224, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2002. "A Dual Liquidity Model for Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 8758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2001. "Inflation in Developing Countries: Does Central Bank Independence Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 511, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. O enigma das altas taxas de juros no Brasil
    by Alex Segura-Ubiergo in Brasil Economia e Governo on 2012-08-06 14:44:09
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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Perrelli & Shaun K. Roache, 2014. "Time-Varying Neutral Interest Rate—The Case of Brazil," IMF Working Papers 14/84, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Edmar Bacha & Marcio Holland & Fernando M. Gonçalves, 2009. "High Interest Rates in Brazil: A Panel-Based Analysis," Revista Brasileira de Economia, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 63(4), pages 207-226, December.
  3. Márcio Holland, 2006. "Exchange Rate Volatility and the Fear of Floating in Brazil," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 7(2), pages 279-292.
  4. Vieira, Fabrício A.C. & Holland, Márcio & Resende, Marco F., 2012. "Financial dollarization and systemic risks: New empirical evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1695-1714.
  5. Márcio Holland & Edmar L. Bacha & Fernando M. Gonçalves, 2007. "Is Brazil Different? Risk, Dollarization, and Interest Rates in Emerging Markets," IMF Working Papers 07/294, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Paulo Chananeco F. de Barcellos Neto & Marcelo Savino Portugal, 2006. "The Natural Rate Of Interest In Brazil Between 1999 And 2005," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting], ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of G 84, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  7. Edmar L. Bacha & Márcio Holland & Fernando M. Gonçalves, 2007. "Is Brazil Different? Risk, Dollarization, And Interest In Emerging Markets," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting], ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Gr 028, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  8. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, 2012. "The Puzzle of Brazil's High Interest Rates," IMF Working Papers 12/62, International Monetary Fund.

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