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Nominal interest rates, consumption booms, and lack of credibility: A quantitative examination

  • Reinhart, Carmen M.
  • Vegh, Carlos A.

Exchange rate-based stabilization programs in chronic-inflation countries have often been accompanied by an initial expansion of private consumption followed by a contraction. This consumption cycle has been attributed to lack of credibility, in the sense that the public views the reduction in the devaluation rate as temporary. This paper assesses the quantitative relevance of the 'temporariness' hypothesis by comparing the predictions of a simple model to the actual figures for seven major programs. The paper concludes that nominal interest rates must fall substantially for the 'temporariness' hypothesis to account for an important fraction of the observed consumption booms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (1995)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 357-378

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:46:y:1995:i:2:p:357-378
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  7. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
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  9. Kiguel, Miguel A & Liviatan, Nissan, 1992. "The Business Cycle Associated.with Exchange Rate-Based Stabilizations," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 279-305, May.
  10. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1986. "Temporary Stabilization: Predetermined Exchange Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1319-29, December.
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  13. Eckstein, Z. & Leiderman, L., 1991. "Seignorage and the Welfare Cost of Inflation; Evidence from an Intertemporal Model of Money and Consumption," Papers 7-91, Tel Aviv.
  14. Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Guillermo Calvo, 1993. "Stabilization Dynamics and Backward-Looking Contracts," IMF Working Papers 93/29, International Monetary Fund.
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  20. José De Gregorio & Pablo E. Guidotti & Carlos A. Végh, 1998. "Inflation Stabilization and the Consumption of Durable Goods," Documentos de Trabajo 26, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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  22. Carlos A. Végh, 1992. "Stopping High Inflation: An Analytical Overview," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 626-695, September.
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  27. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1992. "Speculative attacks: The roles of intertemporal substitution and the interest elasticity of the demand for money," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 689-710.
  28. Reinhart, Carmen & Vegh, Carlos, 1994. "Intertemporal consumption substitution and inflation stabilization:An empirical investigation," MPRA Paper 13427, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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