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Currency boards, dollarized liabilities, and monetary policy credibility

  • Diego Valderrama
  • Mark M. Spiegel

The recent collapse of the Argentine currency board raises new questions about the desirability of formal fixed exchange rate regimes in modern developing economies. This paper examines the impact of dollarized liabilities with potential default for a currency board with costly abandonment. We compare the performance of a currency board to a central bank with full discretion in two environments: One with only idiosyncratic firm shocks, and one with both idiosyncratic shocks and shocks to the dollar-euro rate. We show that the possibility of default with peso-valued exports generates a risk premium on borrowing tied to expected future monetary policy. In addition, the presence of dollarized liabilities mitigates the time-inconsistency problem faced by the monetary authority. Finally, our numerical results demonstrate that the relative performance of the central bank under discretion compared to a currency board is ambiguous with only firm shocks, but that discretion unambiguously dominates when we also introduce shocks to the dollar-euro rate.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2003-07.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of International Money and Finance, Vol. 22, 1065-1087, (December 2003)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2003-07
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2001. "Currency crises and monetary policy in an economy with credit constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1121-1150.
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  9. Augusto de la Torre & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2003. "Living and Dying with Hard Pegs: The Rise and Fall of Argentina's Currency Board," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  10. Paul R. Masson & Allan Drazen, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," IMF Working Papers 94/49, International Monetary Fund.
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  12. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Holger C. Wolf, 2000. "Currency boards: More than a quick fix?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 269-335, October.
  13. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
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  15. Oliva, Maria-Angels & Rivera-Batiz, Luis A & Sy, Amadou N R, 2001. "Discipline, Signaling, and Currency Boards," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 608-25, November.
  16. Dennis, Richard, 1999. "Discretionary monetary policy with costly inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 91-96, October.
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