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Dollarization and the conquest of hyperinflation in divided societies

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  • Russell W. Cooper
  • Hubert Kempf

Abstract

This study argues that the delegation of monetary policy control by one country to another can reduce inflation in the delegating country. Hyperinflation is common in a divided society, one in which special interest groups can pressure a weak central government to issue money to finance their own demands while neglecting the country’s overall welfare. A commitment device like dollarization or a currency board, which gives control of the divided country’s money supply to another country, can eliminate this inflation bias. This is illustrated by Argentina’s experience with inflation and a currency board which, in effect, gave control of Argentina’s money supply to the United States. This argument is made precise using a two-country overlapping generations model to study the effects of delegation. The study also finds that a dollarization treaty between the two countries can be welfare-improving for both

Suggested Citation

  • Russell W. Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2001. "Dollarization and the conquest of hyperinflation in divided societies," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:2001:i:sum:p:3-12:n:v.25no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francois R. Velde & Marcelo Veracierto, 2000. "Dollarization in Argentina," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 24-37.
    2. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 1998. "Establishing a Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 6791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seigniorage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 61-71, February.
    4. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
    5. repec:cto:journl:v:20:y:2000:i:2:p:179-213 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "Explaining fiscal policies and inflation in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages 16-48, March.
    7. John Kareken & Neil Wallace, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-222.
    8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    9. Dale Bails and Margie A. Tieslau, 2000. "The Impact of Fiscal Constitutions on State and Local Expenditures," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 20(2), Fall.
    10. Sebastian M. Saiegh & Mariano Tommasi, 1999. "Why is Argentina’s Fiscal Federalism so Inefficient? Entering the Labyrinth," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 2, pages 169-209, May.
    11. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Holger C. Wolf, 2000. "Currency boards: More than a quick fix?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 269-335, October.
    12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Zimbabwe: how to beat hyperinflation
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-07-28 19:13:00

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    Cited by:

    1. V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 2004. "Strategic Delegation in Monetary Unions," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(s1), pages 19-33, September.
    2. Alain Raybaut & Dominique Torre, 2004. "Unions monétaires, caisses d'émission et dollarisation : les fondements analytiques des systèmes de change « ultra-fixes »," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 75(2), pages 37-54.
    3. Aloisio Araujo & Marcia Leon, 2002. "Speculative Attacks on Debts, Dollarization and Optimum Currency Areas," Working Papers Series 40, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    4. Cooper, Russell & Kempf, Hubert & Peled, Dan, 2010. "Regional debt in monetary unions: Is it inflationary?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 345-358, April.
    5. Krzysztof Makarski, 2014. "Dollarization as a signaling device," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 45(1), pages 17-36.
    6. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "On the desirability of fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Staff Report 330, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Edwards, Sebastian & Magendzo, I. Igal, 2006. "Strict Dollarization and Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 269-282, February.
    8. Kurasawa, Kazutaka & Marty, Alvin L., 2007. ""Optimal" inflation under dollarization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 251-264, March.
    9. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
    10. Arellano, Cristina & Heathcote, Jonathan, 2010. "Dollarization and financial integration," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 944-973, May.
    11. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2008. "Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1469-1504, November.
    12. Young Sik Kim & Manjong Lee, 2011. "Unit of Account, Medium of Exchange, and Prices," Discussion Paper Series 1104, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    13. Russell COOPER, 2012. "Exit from a Monetary Union through Euroization: Discipline without chaos," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/09, European University Institute.
    14. Artus P., 2001. "What Exchange - Rate System For Emerging Countries?," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1-2), pages 27-60, January -.
    15. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2003. "Commitment and the Adoption of a Common Currency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 119-142, February.
    16. Seitz, Franz & Fischer, Björn & Köhler, Petra, 2004. "The demand for euro area currencies: past, present and future," Working Paper Series 330, European Central Bank.
    17. Stéphane Colliac, 2005. "Monnaies parallèles provinciales et fédéralisme budgétaire en Argentine," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 81(4), pages 251-269.
    18. Owen F. Humpage, 2002. "An incentive-compatible suggestion for seigniorage sharing with dollarizing countries," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
    19. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2004. "Overturning Mundell: Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 371-396.
    20. Hsing, Y., 2004. "Responses of Argentine Output to Shocks to Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Exchange Rates: A VAR Model," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(1).

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