How Strong is the Case for Dollarization in Central America? An Empirical Analysis of Business Cycles, Credit Market Imperfections and the Exchange Rate
AbstractIn this paper, we contrast two different views in the debate on official dollarization. The Mundell (1961) framework of optimal currency areas and a model on boom-bust cycles, by Schneider and Tornell (2004), who take account of credit market imperfections prevalent in middle income countries. We highlight that the role of the exchange rate is strikingly different in the two models. While in the Mundell framework the exchange rate is expected to smooth the business cycle, the other model predicts that the exchange rate plays an amplifying role. We empirically evaluate both models for eight highly dollarized Central American economies, and find that the main benefit of official dollarization derives from avoiding a mismatch between foreign currency liabilities and domestic revenues, as well as the boom-bust episodes that are likely to follow from it. Using a new method of Cubadda (1999, 2007), we furthermore test for cyclical comovement and reject the hypothesis that the countries form an optimal currency area with the United States according to the Mundell definition.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Empirical Economic Research in its series Working Papers with number 83.
Date of creation: 05 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
dollarization; real exchange rate; business cycle comovement; serial correlation; common feature; boom-bust cycles; credit market imperfections; Central America;
Other versions of this item:
- Nannette Lindenberg & Frank Westermann, 2012. "How strong is the case for dollarization in Central America? An empirical analysis of business cycles, credit market imperfections and the exchange rate," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 147-166, 04.
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
- F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2010-12-04 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MON-2010-12-04 (Monetary Economics)
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