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Dollarization, Bailouts, and the Stability of the Banking System

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  • Douglas Gale
  • Xavier Vives

Abstract

Central bank policy suffers from time inconsistency when facing a banking crisis: a bailout is optimal ex post, but ex ante it should be limited to control moral hazard. Dollarization provides a credible commitment not to help at the cost of not helping even when it would be ex ante optimal to do so. Dollarization is good when the costs of establishing a reputation for the central bank are high, monitoring effort by the banker is important in improving returns, and when the cost of liquidating projects is moderate. However, a very severe moral hazard problem could make dollarization undesirable. The results obtained are applied to assess the desirability of dollarization in a range of countries and the potential role of the IMF as International LOLR. We would never put ourselves in a position where we envisioned actions that we would take would be of assistance to the rest of the world but to the detriment of the United States. Alan Greenspan to a congressional panel in 1999 [IHT, January 19, 2000].

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Gale & Xavier Vives, 2002. "Dollarization, Bailouts, and the Stability of the Banking System," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 467-502.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:2:p:467-502.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/003355302753650300
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Optimal Financial Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1245-1284, August.
    2. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    4. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
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    7. Chang, Roberto & Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-34, May.
    8. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-398, September.
    9. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu & Claudia H Dziobek, 1997. "Lessons From Systemic Bank Restructuring; A Survey of 24 Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/161, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Fry, Maxwell J, 1998. "Assessing Central Bank Independence in Developing Countries: Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 512-529, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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