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Growth and Adjustment in Chile: A Look at the 1990s

In: Economic Growth: Sources, Trends, and Cycles

  • Vittorio Corbo

    (Centro de Estudios Públicos)

  • José Tessada

    (University of Maryland)

This study provides a thorough review of the post-1998 slowdown in economic growth in Chile. This was a rather turbulent period in economic history, and as such, it motivates to carry on research on the likely causes of the slowdown and its possible solutions. The authors use an econometric model to test three competing hypotheses and derive general implications from the analysis. The first hypothesis puts the blame on bad luck, because of external shocks: namely, terms-of-trade losses and reduced capital inflows following the Asian crisis. A second hypothesis blames the slowdown on policies implemented as a response to the deteriorating external conditions, in particular the inability to achieve a balanced mix of monetary and fiscal policies during the 1997–1998 period. Fiscal imbalances and restrictive monetary policy, it is argued, led to very high interest rates, severely affecting the investment and consumption decisions of the private sector. Finally, a third explanation is that the lowdown resulted from the completion of a high growth cycle associated with the structural reforms introduced in the 1985–1995 period. The authors conclude that the slowdown in the Chilean economy was a mix of severe external shocks and lack of cooperation between fiscal and monetary policies.

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This chapter was published in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.) Economic Growth: Sources, Trends, and Cycles, , chapter 14, pages 465-522, 2002.
This item is provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series with number v06c14pp465-522.
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v06c14pp465-522
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  1. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  2. Francisco A. Gallego F & Leonardo Hernández, 2003. "Microeconomic Effects of Capital Controls: The Chilean Experience During the 1990s," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 203, Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Shamik Dhar & Darren Pain & Ryland Thomas, 2000. "A small structural empirical model of the UK monetary transmission mechanism," Bank of England working papers 113, Bank of England.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  7. Taylor, John B., 2000. "Low inflation, pass-through, and the pricing power of firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1389-1408, June.
  8. Vittorio Corbo & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Inflation Targeting in Latin America," Documentos de Trabajo 230, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  9. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
  10. Meller, Patricio & O'ryan, Raul & Solimano, Andres, 1996. "Growth, equity, and the environment in Chile: Issues and evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 255-272, February.
  11. Juan Andrés Fontaine, 1991. "La Administración de la Política Monetaria en Chile, 1985-89," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 28(83), pages 109-130.
  12. Meredith Beechey & Nargis Bharucha & Adam Cagliarini & David Gruen & Christopher Thompson, 2000. "A Small Model of the Australian Macroeconomy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2000-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  13. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  14. David Hargreaves, 1999. "SDS-FPS: a small demand-side version of the Forecasting and Policy System core model," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G99/10, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  15. Marcel, Mario, 2001. "Balance Estructural del Gobierno Central. Metodología y Estimaciones para Chile
    [Structural Bazlance of Central Government. Methodology and estimates for Chile]
    ," MPRA Paper 43338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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