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Chile's Peso: Better Than (Just) Living with the Dollar?

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  • Felipe Morandé
  • Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel

Abstract

The choice between maintaining or giving up the national currency is determined by putting on balance the benefits of macroeconomic flexibility derived from a floating exchange rate and an independent monetary policy, and the microeconomic benefits derived from joining a currency union or adopting unilaterally a foreign currency. This paper assesses this choice for Chile. The country’s financial development and macroeconomic stability imply low microeconomic and efficiency costs in sticking to the peso. An evaluation of optimal currency-area criteria shows that Chile is not a natural candidate for joining a monetary union with prospective partners in Latin America, NAFTA, or the European Union. Unilateral dollarization is even less beneficial. Among Southern Hemisphere countries with various exchange rate regimes, Chile would gain the least from giving up its national currency. For a country like Chile, subject to large idiosyncratic shocks and significant temporary price and wage rigidity, a flexible exchange rate and an independent monetary policy anchored to an inflation target comprise the dominant regime choice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 68.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:68

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  1. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Hargreaves & C John McDermott, 1999. "Issues relating to optimal currency areas: theory and implications for New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 62, September.
  3. Emerson, Michael & Gros, Daniel & Italianer, Alexander & ,, 1992. "One Market, One Money: An Evaluation of the Potential Benefits and Costs of Forming an Economic and Monetary Union," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773245, September.
  4. Barry Eichengreen, 2000. "Does Mercosur Need a Single Currency?," International Finance 0003006, EconWPA.
  5. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "No Single Currency Regime is Right for All Countries or At All Times," NBER Working Papers 7338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eichengreen, Barry & Bayoumi, Tamim, 1996. "Is Asia an Optimum Currency Area? Can It Become One? Regional, Global and Historical Perspectives on Asian Monetary Relations," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt1td5x343, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Mahadeva, Lavan & Sterne, Gabriel, 2002. "Inflation Targets as a Stabilization Device," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 619-50, Special I.
  9. Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1999. "Exchange Rates in Emerging Economies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 7228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Olivier Jeanne & Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Noise Trading And Exchange Rate Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 537-569, May.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Theoretical Issues Pertaining to Monetary Unions," NBER Working Papers 7393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Felipe Morandé L. & Matías Tapia G., 2002. "Exchange Rate Policy in Chile: the Abandonment of the Band and the Floating Experience," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 5(3), pages 67-94, December.
  2. Corbo, Vittorio, 2001. "Is it time for a common currency for the Americas?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 241-248, April.
  3. Vittorio Corbo & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Inflation Targeting in Latin America," Documentos de Trabajo 230, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  4. Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de & Leon, Márcia Saraiva, 2002. "Speculative Attacks on Debts, Dollarization and Optimum Currency Areas," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 446, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  5. Felipe Morandé & Matías Tapia, 2002. "Exchange Rate Policy in Chile: From the Band to Floating and Beyond," Working Papers wp192, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  6. Martin Grandes & Helmut Reisen, 2003. "Hard Peg versus Soft Float. A Tale of Two Latin-American Countries," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(5), pages 1057-1090.
  7. Vittorio Corbo, 2002. "Exchange Rate Regimes in the Americas: Is Dollarization the Solution?," Documentos de Trabajo 229, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..

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