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Currency competition and inflation convergence

  • William C. Gruben
  • Darryl McLeod

All agree partial dollarization or currency substitution is a legacy of past inflation and exchange rate instability. Some argue partial dollarization contributes to exchange rate instability. However, if Central Banks respond to dollarization by lowering money growth and maximizing seigniorage revenue, inflation falls and converges on dollar inflation rates. We present a simple model of currency competition with open capital markets to illustrate these points. Empirical tests for Latin America and about twenty other countries suggest that dollarization is both a legacy of past inflation and a constraint on future inflation. Dollarization may complicate monetary policy and prudential regulation, but one silver lining is that currency competition appears to have accelerated the sharp fall in and convergence of Latin inflation rates over the past decade.

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File URL: http://dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/claepapers/2004/lawp0402.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Center for Latin America Working Papers with number 0204.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddcl:0204
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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Gruben, William C. & McLeod, Darryl, 2002. "Capital account liberalization and inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 221-225, October.
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  18. Robert J. Barro, 1982. "Inflationary Finance under Discrepion and Rules," NBER Working Papers 0889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
  20. Eliana Cardoso, 1992. "Inflation and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 4006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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