The dynamics of currency substitution, asset substitution and de facto dollarization and euroization in transition countries
This paper presents new evidence on the dynamics of dollarization and euroization for twenty-five transition countries. Estimates of the amount of foreign currency in circulation (FCC) in transition countries are used to develop a new comprehensive dollarization index (CDI) and separate indices of currency substitution (CSI) and asset substitution (ASI). When the CDI is compared to the traditional dollarization index (DI) that relies solely on foreign currency deposits as a proxy for the extent of dollarization, I find that the comprehensive dollarization measure provides a more complete picture of the extent of de facto dollarization and euroization, and that it better reflects the separate influences of currency substitution and asset substitution. I find that the dynamic evolution of currency substitution and asset substitution in transition countries is both more variable and complex than is usually believed to be the case. These new dollarization indicators enable researchers to examine the causes of the dollarization process and its tendency to lead to irreversibility (hysteresis). Moreover, the currency substitution and asset substitution indices shed light on the dynamic consequences of these processes for the effectiveness of monetary policy. Finally, the new estimates of FCC make possible the measurement of effective currency/deposit ratios that can be used to develop new estimates of the size and growth of underground economies in transition countries. JEL classification: E4 E5 F3 H26 K42 P2 P3 Keywords: dollarization, euroization, transition economies, currency substitution, asset substitution, underground economies, foreign currency, network externalities, irreversibility.
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