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The More Divergent, the Better? Lessons on Trilemma Policies and Crises for Asia

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  • Joshua Aizenman

    () (Economics and School of International Relations, University of Southern California)

  • Hiro Ito

    () (Department of Economics, Portland State University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the potential impacts of the degree of divergence in open macroeconomic policies in the context of the trilemma hypothesis. Using an index that measures the extent of policy divergence among the three trilemma policy choices—monetary independence, exchange rate stability, and financial openness—we find that emerging market economies have adopted trilemma policy combinations with the smallest degree of policy divergence in the last 15 years. We then investigate whether and to what extent the degree of open macro policy convergence affects the probability of a crisis and find that a developing or emerging market economy with a higher degree of policy divergence is more likely to experience a currency or debt crisis. We also compare the development of trilemma policies around the crisis period for the groups of Latin American crisis countries in the 1980s and the Asian crisis countries in the 1990s. We find that Latin American crisis countries tended to close their capital accounts in the aftermath of a crisis, while that is not the case for the Asian crisis countries. The Asian crisis countries tended to reduce the degree of policy divergence in the aftermath of the crisis, which possibly meant they decided to adopt open macro policies that made their economies less prone to a crisis. © 2013 Asian Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Institute.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Hiro Ito, 2014. "The More Divergent, the Better? Lessons on Trilemma Policies and Crises for Asia," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 31(2), pages 21-54, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:adbadr:v:31:y:2014:i:2:p:21-54
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Takatoshi Ito, 2016. "A New Financial Order in Asia: Will a RMB bloc emerge?," NBER Working Papers 22755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:jimfin:v:74:y:2017:i:c:p:232-257 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hossain, Akhand Akhtar, 2016. "Inflationary shocks and real output growth in nine Muslim-majority countries: Implications for Islamic banking and finance," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 56-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    divergence; macroeconomic politics; trilemma hypothesis; crisis; Latin America 1980s; Asia 1990s;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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