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Hard Peg versus Soft Float. A Tale of Two Latin-American Countries

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  • Martin Grandes
  • Helmut Reisen

Abstract

This paper deals with how the exchange-rate regime of Argentina and Mexico shaped macroeconomic performance over the period 1994-2001. The purpose of the analysis is to draw lessons for Latin American and other countries on whether and how the choice of the exchange-rate regime can help sustained growth. As it is impossible to isolate the growth effect of the exchange-rate regime in a comparative country study, the paper emphasises those macro variables that have been identified in the theoretical and empirical literature as important channels through which the choice of the regime affects economic performance: a) investment, b) trade openness, c) capital flows and d) fiscal or institutional rigidities and public debt sustainability. These channel checks confirm 1997/1998 as the “breakeven” year, since Mexico’s managed floating currency regime has yielded, higher pay off relative to Argentina’s currency board, faced with successive external shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_545_1057
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
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    5. Kristian Nilsson & Lars Nilsson, 2000. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Export Performance of Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 331-349, March.
    6. Andrew K. Rose, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," NBER Working Papers 7432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis & Solimano, Andres, 1994. "Saving, investment, and growth in developing countries : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1382, The World Bank.
    8. Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo & Larraín, Guillermo, 2003. "How optimal are the extremes?: Latin American exchange rate policies during the Asian crisis," Series Históricas 10, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
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    12. Reisen, Helmut & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Which Types of Capital Inflows Foster Developing-Country Growth?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 1-14, Spring.
    13. Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo & Larraín, Guillermo, 2003. "How optimal are the extremes?: Latin American exchange rate policies during the Asian crisis," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1797, December.
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    17. Yan M Sun, 2003. "Do Fixed Exchange Rates Induce More Fiscal Discipline?," IMF Working Papers 03/78, International Monetary Fund.
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