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La dollarisation comme solution en dernier ressort

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  • Henri Bourguinat
  • Larbi Dohni

Abstract

[eng] Ecuador has recently adopted the US dollar as legal tender. Salvador is on the verge of doing so; Guatemala and Costa-Rica are attempting at the same substitution to their own currency. But, the prospect is now more general. In other parts of the world, the dollarization progresses, too; Eastern-Timor and Kosovo have just before replaced their currency, respectively by the dollar and the mark; Balkanic countries are about to dol- larize ("euroize") their economies. Earlier, the South-African rand was substituted to the Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibie national currencies. Now we are far from the previous straight field of official dollarization. A few years ago, it concerned, except the specific case of Panama [1904], only "microscopic" territories like Pacific Island (Guam, Micronesia, etc.) or little cities as, in Europe, Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco or the Vatican. Now, official dollarization is quite another phenomenon. It is often presented as a general formula available to reform the International Monetary System (IMS). This solution is now proposed to replace a lot of currencies eroded by inflation, deficits, political crisis, if not by revolts and ethnic troubles. Initially, it seems quite logical to try to replace "minor currencies" by a few number of foreign currencies well identified by the markets and more credible. The main argument of this paper is precisely to discuss this prospect of dollarization used to simplify and rationalize the IMS. Before adopting this view, which seems too optimistic, it would be necessary to consider: - The sound and specific nature of dollarization as a "borrowing contact of credibility in the last resort". —The interest in dollarization, relatively to other exchange rate arrangements like Monetary Unions or Currency Boards. —A cost-benefits analysis of this substitution of a foreign currency to a local one. —An application of the dollarization formula to the Canadian dollar and Eastern Central European countries. [fre] L'Equateur a récemment donné cours légal au dollar. Le Salvador est sur le point de faire de même. Le Guatemala et le Costa-Rica sont également tentés. Mais la perspective est beaucoup plus générale. Dans d'autres parties du monde, la dollarisation progresse (le Timor oriental et le Kosovo ont remplacé leur monnaie par le dollar et le mark) ; les pays balkaniques aussi se « dollarisent » ou « s'euroisent » ; il y a quelques années, le rand sud-africain fut aussi substitué aux monnaies locales de la Namibie, du Lesotho et du Swaziland. Quelques années auparavant, la dollarisation, excepté le cas du Panama [1904], ne concernait que des territoires microscopiques ou de petites cités en Europe, comme les principautés d'Andorre, du Liechtenstein, de Monaco ou le Vatican. Le champ de la dollarisation est donc en train de s'élargir considérablement. La formule est même présentée comme un moyen général de réformer le système monétaire International. Pourquoi, dit-on, ne pas remplacer toute une série de monnaies « mineures » érodées par l'inflation, les déficits, les crises politiques quand ce n'est les révoltes ou troubles ethniques, par un petit nombre de monnaies bien identifiées par les marchés et plus crédibles ? Avant d'adopter cette vue qui paraît trop optimiste (la dollarisation est une solution « en dernier ressort »), il est nécessaire de considérer : —la nature profonde et spécifique de la dollarisation en tant que contrat d'emprunt de crédibilité ; —l'intérêt de la dollarisation par rapport aux autres régimes de change (unions monétaires et caisses d'émission) ; —une analyse coût-bénéfice de la formule ; —une application aux cas du dollar canadien et des pays d'Europe centrale et orientale.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

Volume (Year): 17 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 57-96

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_2002_num_17_1_1455

Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.2002.1455
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Web page: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/revue/rfeco

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Cited by:
  1. Sokic, Alexandre & FABRIS, Nikola, 2013. "Euroization and cyclical stabilization in Montenegro: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 46537, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dominique Torre & Alain Raybaut, 2004. "Unions monétaires, caisses d'émission et dollarisation : les fondements analytiques des systèmes de change « ultra-fixes »," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 75(2), pages 37-54.

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