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Capital Controls, The Dual Exchange Rate, and Devaluation


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  • Maurice Obstfeld


This paper re-examines the effect of devaluation under capital-account restrictions, adding to traditional formulations the seemingly minor (but realistic) assumption that central-bank reserves earn interest. The extra assumption has important implications. In an intertemporal model, devaluation is no longer neutral in the long run as it is in the literature on the monetary approach to the balance of payments. Further, the economy may possess multiple stationary states, some of them unstable.The analysis confirms, however, that even large devaluations must improve the balance of payments if the economy is initially at a stable stationary position. A by-product of the analysis is a pricing formula for the financial exchange rate in a dual exchange rate system. That formula is consistent with recent consumption-based models of asset pricing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1324.

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Date of creation: Apr 1984
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Publication status: published as Obstfeld, Maurice. "Capital Controls, the Dual Exchange Rate, and Devaluation." Journal of International Economics, Vol. 20, No. 1, (February 1986), pp. 1-20.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1324

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