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Sources of economic fluctuations in Latin America and implications for choice of exchange rate regimes

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  • Shaghil Ahmed
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    Abstract

    This paper studies the sources of economic fluctuations in three key Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico) using a dynamic panel model, distinguishing between external and domestic shocks. The primary motivation is to examine the implications for the choice of monetary and exchange rate regimes, including dollarization. The results do not provide a strong, clear case in favor of a particular policy choice. On the one hand, foreign output shocks, including those of the U.S., appear to have a quite limited role in driving output fluctuations in these Latin countries; this absence of common shocks undermines the case for a rigidly fixed exchange rate regime. On the other hand, the historical experience of these countries indicates that real exchange rates are not very responsive to external shocks, in general, and that exchange rate depreciations tend to be contractionary in the short run. This suggests that rigidity of exchange rates may not be as costly for these countries as economic theory leads us to expect. Although the historical experience of these countries is certainly relevant, the caveat that it is characterized by several failed fixed exchange rate regimes, thereby making it a less-than-ideal testing ground for evaluating a pure floating exchange rate system, should be noted.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 656.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:656

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    Keywords: Business cycles ; Latin America ; Foreign exchange rates;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Fackler, James S. & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Output, inflation and stabilization: a counterfactual analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 619-640, October.
    2. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "One Money or Many? On Analyzing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-030, University of California at Berkeley.
    3. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2001. "Reflections on Dollarization," MPRA Paper 8206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Atish R. Ghosh, 1998. "Currency Boards," IMF Working Papers 98/8, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jonathan David Ostry & Anne Marie Gulde & Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1995. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," IMF Working Papers 95/121, International Monetary Fund.
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    8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fixing for Your Life," NBER Working Papers 8006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Carmen M. Reinhart, 1995. "Devaluation, Relative Prices, and International Trade: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(2), pages 290-312, June.
    10. Jose De Gregorio & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Terms of Trade, Productivity, and the Real Exchange Rate," Working Papers 94-19, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," NBER Working Papers 5700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sebastian Edwards & Carlos A. Végh, 1997. "Banks and Macroeconomic Disturbances Under Predetermined Exchange Rates," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 115, Universidad del CEMA.
    13. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    14. 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.
    15. C. John McDermott & Eswar Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 99/35, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-37, February.
    17. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & McDermott, C John & Prasad, Eswar S, 2000. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 251-85, May.
    18. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
    19. Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Devaluation, Relative Prices, and International Trade," IMF Working Papers 94/140, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Steven B. Kamin & Oliver D. Babson, 1999. "The contributions of domestic and external factors to Latin American devaluation crises: an early warning systems approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 645, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    21. Alexander W. Hoffmaister & Jorge Roldos, 1997. "Are Business Cycles Different in Asia and Latin America?," IMF Working Papers 97/9, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:
    1. Eduard Hochreiter & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Georg Winckler, 2002. "Monetary Union: European Lessons, Latin American Prospects," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 167, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Sophie Chauvin, 2001. "Exit Options for Argentina with a Special Focus on Their Impact on External Trade," Working Papers 2001-07, CEPII research center.
    3. Shaghil Ahmed & Christopher J. Gust & Steven B. Kamin & Jonathan Huntley, 2002. "Are depreciations as contractionary as devaluations? A comparison of selected emerging and industrial economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 737, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Hsing, Y., 2004. "Responses of Argentine Output to Shocks to Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Exchange Rates: A VAR Model," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(1).
    5. Santiago Herrera & Guillermo Perry & Neile Quintero, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in Latin America: What Explains the Recent Slowdown?," Macroeconomics 0004012, EconWPA.
    6. Herrera, Santiago & Perry, Guillermo & Quintero, Neile, 2000. "Output fluctuations in Latin America - what explains the recent slowdown?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2333, The World Bank.
    7. Yu Hsing, 2003. "Impact of external debt and other macroeconomic policies on output in Brazil: a var approach," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 18(2), pages 97-108, December.
    8. Steven B. Kamin & John W. Schindler & Shawna L. Samuel, 2001. "The contribution of domestic and external factors to emerging market devaluation crises: an early warning systems approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 711, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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