A model of liability dollarization and myopic governments
Liability dollarization of the domestic banking system represents a source of vulnerability for emerging market countries. The root cause is a lack of faith in the domestic currency, which ultimately stems from the belief that the government will not follow policies that promote long-run currency stability. This paper presents a model in which government myopia determines the unofficial dollarization of bank credit. Specifically, myopic politicians will choose low interest rates to expand short-run output in order to get re-elected, but this choice has the long-run consequence of increasing dollar lending. Increased liability dollarization is shown to force the hand of future decision-makers into choosing fixed exchange rates because of the fear that large depreciations will destroy balance sheets. The results imply that institutional reforms are necessary to reverse liability dollarization.
Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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