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Living and dying with hard pegs : the rise and fall of Argentina's currency board

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  • De la Torre, Augusto
  • Levy Yeyati, Eduardo
  • Schmukler, Sergio L.

Abstract

The rise and fall of Argentina's currency board shows the extent to which the advantages of hard pegs have been overstated. The currency board did provide nominal stability and boosted financial intermediation, at the cost of endogenous financial dollarization, but did not foster monetary or fiscal discipline. The failure to adequately address the currency-growth-debt trap into which Argentina fell at the end of the 1990s precipitated a run on the currency and the banks, followed by the abandonment of the currency board and a sovereign debt default. The crisis can be best interpreted as a bad outcome of a high-stakes strategy to overcome a weak currency problem. To increase the credibility of the hard peg, the government raised its exit costs, which deepened the crisis once exit could no longer be avoided. But some alternative exit strategies would have been less destructive than the one adopted.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2980.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2980

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform; Fiscal&Monetary Policy; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Financial Intermediation; Banks&Banking Reform; Fiscal&Monetary Policy; Financial Intermediation; Financial Economics; Economic Theory&Research;

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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2003. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate, and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," NBER Working Papers 9828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Feldstein, Martin, 2002. "Argentina's Fall: Lessons from the Latest Financial Crisis," Scholarly Articles 2959849, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Chang, R. & Velasco, A., 1999. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," Working Papers 99-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Schmukler, Sergio L., 1999. "Do depositors punish banks for"bad"behavior? : market discipline in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2058, The World Bank.
  5. Aaron Tornell & Andres Velasco, 1995. "Fixed versus Flexible Exchange Rates: Which Provides More Fiscal Discipline?," NBER Working Papers 5108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi & Guillermo A. Calvo, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications 6821, Inter-American Development Bank.
  7. Serven, Luis & Frankel, Jeffrey & Fajnzylber, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio, 2000. "Verifying exchange rate regimes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2397, The World Bank.
  8. de la Torre, Augusto & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo & Schmukler, Sergio L, 2002. "Financial Globalization: Unequal Blessings," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 335-57, Winter.
  9. 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.
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  12. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
  13. Ilan Goldfajn & Gino Olivares, 2001. "Full Dollarization: The Case of Panama," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  14. María Soledad Martínez-Peria & Sergio Schmukler, 2002. "Do Depositors Punish Banks for Bad Behavior? Market Discipline, Deposit Insurance, and Banking Crises," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (S (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 5, pages 143-174 Central Bank of Chile.
  15. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2002. "Pricing currency risk under currency boards," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 367-391, December.
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  1. Argentine Currency Board in Wikipedia (English)
  2. Currency board in Wikipedia (English)

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