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The Capital Inflows Problem Revisited: A Stylized Model of Southern Cone Disinflation

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  • Maurice Obstfeld

Abstract

In the late 1970s, countries in Latin America's Southern Cone initiated attempts to lower domestic inflation rates through the progressive reduction of a preannounced rate of exchange-rate devaluation. The stabilization programs gave rise to massive capital inflows, real exchange-rate appreciation, and current-account deficits. This paper develops a stylized intertemporal framework in which the effects of a credible preannounced disinflation scheme can be studied. It is shown that even when agents have perfect foresight and markets clear continuously, the "capital inflows" phenomenon and the associated real appreciation may result. While unanticipated, permanent inflation changes are neutral in the paper, anticipated inflation is neutral only in exceptional circumstances. A preannounced disinflation operates by altering the path of an expenditure-based real domestic interest rate that depends on expected changes in the prices of liquidity services and nontradable consumption goods.

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  • Maurice Obstfeld, 1985. "The Capital Inflows Problem Revisited: A Stylized Model of Southern Cone Disinflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 605-625.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:52:y:1985:i:4:p:605-625.
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