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Latvia's Internal Devaluation: A Success Story?

Author

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  • Mark Weisbrot
  • Rebecca Ray

Abstract

Advocates of an economic strategy of “internal devaluation” have recently pointed to Latvia as an example of successful macroeconomic policy. The Latvian economy is projected to grow by four percent in 2011. They argue that the Latvian government, along with the European authorities (including the International Monetary Fund ­ IMF), pursued the correct macroeconomic policies by maintaining Latvia’s fixed exchange rate and implementing pro-cyclical fiscal policies (that shrunk the economy further) and sometimes pro-cyclical monetary policies. They argue that these were the best policies ­as opposed to counter-cyclical, expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, accompanied by devaluation­ designed to promote a rapid economic recovery. The data, however, contradict the notion that Latvia’s experience provides an example of successful internal devaluation. This paper looks at the Latvian case and provides further evidence that this can be a very costly strategy and one that does not work. The social and economic costs in Latvia were enormous, and the loss of income much greater than most countries that had crisis-driven devaluations. Countries with crisis-driven devaluations also recovered vastly faster, on average, than did Latvia. Furthermore, net exports contributed little or nothing to Latvia's recovery, which seems to have been facilitated instead by the abandonment of pro-cyclical macroeconomic policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Weisbrot & Rebecca Ray, 2011. "Latvia's Internal Devaluation: A Success Story?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2011-25, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
  • Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2011-25
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    File URL: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/latvia-2011-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Weisbrot & Rebecca Ray & Juan Montecino & Sara Kozameh, 2011. "The Argentine Success Story and its Implications," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2011-21, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    2. Anders Aslund & Valdis Dombrovskis, 2011. "How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 6024.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Un débat et un dialogue
      by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2014-03-05 03:11:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brigitte Granville, 2013. "The Current Eurozone – an impediment to critical French reform," Working Papers 42, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    2. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2013. "Determinants of relative bargaining power in monetary unions," Working Papers 47, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    3. Howard Stein, 2012. "The Neoliberal Policy Paradigm and the Great Recession," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 59(4), pages 421-440, September.
    4. Simon Wren-Lewis, 2013. "Macroeconomic Stabilisation in the Eurozone: Lessons from Failure," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4, pages 66-73, July.
    5. Mark Weisbrot & David Rosnick & Stephan Lefebvre, 2015. "The Greek Economy: Which Way Forward?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2015-04, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    6. Brown, Martin, 2013. "The transmission of banking crises to households : lessons from the 2008-2011 crises in the ECA region," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6528, The World Bank.
    7. Kapitsinis, Nikolaos & Metaxas, Theodore, 2011. "Economic crisis and the role of state policies in current globalized economy. The case of Greece," MPRA Paper 43650, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    latvia; europe; devaluation; procyclical; countercyclical; imf;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F - International Economics
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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