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The Real Exchange Rate in Transition Economies

  • C Grafe
  • C Wyplosz

Real exchange rates appear to present a specific behaviour in the early phase of transition: they are largely unaffected by nominal exchange rate movements and exibit trend appreciation. The model presented here describes the transition process as the emergence of two new (traded and non-traded good) sectors and the decline of an inefficient and subsidised state sector. The absence of financial markets means that firms accumulate capital through retained earnings. Labour markets are imperfect giving rise to a wage gap. The model shows that the real exchange rate plays the crucial role of determining real wages. Through real wages it sets the pace for the development of the new sectors as workers are attracted out of the state sector. The link between growth and real appreciation differs from the usual Balassa Samuelson effect. The paper also explores the role of labour market distortions and foreign financing.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0395.

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Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0395
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  1. Castanheira, Micael & Roland, Gérard, 1996. "Restructuring and Capital Accumulation in Transition Economies: A General Equilibrium Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Lionel Halpern & Charles Wyplosz, 1996. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates in Transition Economies," IMF Working Papers 96/125, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1994. "On the Speed of Transition Central Europe," NBER Working Papers 4736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aghion, P. & Blanchard, O.J., 1993. "On the Speed of Transition in Central Europe," Working papers 93-8, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  6. Atkeson, Andrew & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1996. "Social Insurance and Transition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 377-401, May.
  7. Cornelli, F. & Portes, R. & Schaffer, M., 1996. "The Capital Structure of Firms in Central and Eastern Europe," DELTA Working Papers 96-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  9. J. Konings & H. Lehmann & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in a Transition Economy: Ownership, Firm Size," CERT Discussion Papers 9611, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  10. Burda, Michael C, 1992. "Unemployment, Labour Market Institutions and Structural Change in Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 746, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:84:y:1970:i:3:p:488-500 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Ratna Sahay & Guillermo Calvo, 1995. "Capital Flows in Central and Eastern Europe: Evidence and Policy Options," IMF Working Papers 95/57, International Monetary Fund.
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