The Effects of Devaluation on Aggregate Output: Empirical Evidence from Africa
This paper tests the contractionary devaluation hypothesis in the context of select African countries. The output effect of devaluation is examined within an empirical model that controls, among others, for the parallel currency premium, the rate of net capital inflow, the degree of capacity utilization and political instability. The model is estimated on pooled data drawn from 20 African countries, employing alternative indicators of devaluation and pooling procedures. The results indicate that the contemporaneous output effect of nominal devaluation is negative, providing statistical support for the hypothesis that devaluation is contractionary in the short run. On the other hand, the coefficient of the lagged rate of devaluation is found to be positive, implying that the contractionary problem is temporary. The magnitude of the observed contractionary effect appears to depend on the rate of net capital inflow and the degree of capacity utilization. Devaluations accompanied by augmented net capital inflow and implemented in the presence of excess capacity are found to be less contractionary than otherwise equivalent exchange-rate changes. The results also seem to imply that devaluations launched in the context of sizeable unofficial markets for foreign exchange are less injurious to aggregate economic activity than other exchange-rate adjustments.
Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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