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Living and Dying with Hard Pegs: The Rise and Fall of Argentina’s Currency Board

Author

Listed:
  • Augusto de la Torre

    ()

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati

    ()

  • Sergio L. Schmukler

    ()

Abstract

The rise and fall of Argentina´s currency board illustrates 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 fiscal or monetary 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Augusto de la Torre & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2003. "Living and Dying with Hard Pegs: The Rise and Fall of Argentina’s Currency Board," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 43-108, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008684
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Exchange rate regime; currency board; dollarization; floating; currency crisis; banking crisis; convertibility;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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