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Monetary policy in the end-game to exchange-rate based stabilizations: the case of Mexico

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  • Steven B. Kamin
  • John H. Rogers

Abstract

Exchange-rate based stabilizations, while useful in accelerating the disinflation process, typically lead to overvalued exchange rates and large current account deficits. These factors, in turn, make it difficult to sustain exchange rate pegs, placing heaving demands upon monetary policy to sustain exchange-rate based programs in their later phases. This paper evaluates the extent to which Mexican monetary policy in 1994 may have loosened, or not tightened sufficiently, in the lead up to the devaluation of the peso that December. Using econometric models of the demand for money, we find evidence that the high growth of the monetary base in 1994 reflected strong positive shocks to the demand for money, not to its supply. Next, we estimate a monetary policy reaction function for Mexico. Based on this estimate, we argue that interest rates rose only moderately less in 1994, in response to downward pressure on the peso and on international reserves, than was predicted by the authorities' reaction function. This result is qualified somewhat by our finding that if interest rates are modeled as reacting to reserves net of Tesobonos, rather than gross reserves, the measured deviation of actual from predicted interest rates would have been much greater. However, the relative complacency with which both the authorities and the market viewed the build-up in Tesobonos, at least until late in 1994, suggests that the reaction function based on net reserves probably does not capture "normal" monetary policy behavior. Our findings suggest that in order to have maintained the peg, the authorities would have needed to intensify their response to exchange market developments--that is, to alter their reaction function--at a time when concerns over the health of the banking sector, and of the economy more generally, would have pointed to a relaxation of monetary policy. Insofar as such tightenings of monetary reaction functions are difficult to achieve, Mexico's experience suggests that policymakers relying on the exchange rate as a nominal anchor probably should be prepared either to abandon that anchor or tighten monetary policy well before speculative pressures intensify.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven B. Kamin & John H. Rogers, 1996. "Monetary policy in the end-game to exchange-rate based stabilizations: the case of Mexico," International Finance Discussion Papers 540, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:540
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Del Negro & Francesc Obiols-Homs, 2001. "Has monetary policy been so bad that it is better to get rid of it? The case of Mexico," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 404-439.
    2. Garcés Díaz Daniel, 2017. "Explaining Inflation with a Classical Dichotomy Model and Switching Monetary Regimes: Mexico 1932-2013," Working Papers 2017-20, Banco de México.
    3. Kamin, Steven B. & Rogers, John H., 1996. "Monetary policy in the end-game to exchange-rate based stabilizations: the case of Mexico," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 285-307, November.
    4. Kolver Hernandez, 2004. "State-Dependent Nominal Rigidities & Disinflation Programs in Small Open Economies," Macroeconomics 0411021, EconWPA.
    5. Imed Drine & Christophe Rault, 2007. "Fluctuations de Change et Performances Economiques," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(4), pages 427-444.
    6. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Uribe, Martin, 2000. "Devaluation risk and the business-cycle implications of exchange-rate management," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 239-296, December.
    7. Prof.Dr. Cevat GERNI & Doc.Dr. O. Selcuk EMSEN & Dr. M. Kemal DEGER, 2005. "Erken Uyari Sistemlerý Yoluyla Turkiye’Deki Ekonomik Krizlerin Analizi," Istanbul University Econometrics and Statistics e-Journal, Department of Econometrics, Faculty of Economics, Istanbul University, vol. 2(1), pages 39-62, November.
    8. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique G., 1996. "Mexico's balance-of-payments crisis: a chronicle of a death foretold," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 235-264, November.
    9. Kumhof, Michael, 2000. "A quantitative exploration of the role of short-term domestic debt in balance of payments crises," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 195-215, June.
    10. Joseph A. Whitt, 1996. "The Mexican peso crisis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Jan, pages 1-20.
    11. Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1999. "The Business Cycles of Balance-of-Payment Crises: A Revision of Mundellan Framework," NBER Working Papers 7045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1998. "The business cycles of currency speculation: a revision of the Mundellian framework," International Finance Discussion Papers 617, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Michael Kumhof, "undated". "A Quantative Exploration of the Role of Short-Term Domestic Debit in Balance of Payments Crises," Working Papers 00017, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    14. Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 1998. "Stock markets in Africa: Emerging lions or white elephants?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 829-843, May.
    15. Kamin, Steve B. & Rogers, John H., 2000. "Output and the real exchange rate in developing countries: an application to Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 85-109, February.
    16. G. J. Lã“Pez, 1997. "Mexico's crisis: financial modernisation and financial fragility," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(201), pages 165-185.
    17. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Stabilization policy and the costs of dollarization," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 482-517.
    18. G. J. Lã“Pez, 1997. "Mexico's crisis: financial modernisation and financial fragility," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 50(201), pages 165-185.
    19. Best, Gabriela, 2013. "Fear of floating or monetary policy as usual? A structural analysis of Mexico's monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 45-62.
    20. Carlos E. Zarazaga, 1995. "Argentina, Mexico, and currency boards: another case of rules versus discretion," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 14-24.
    21. Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1999. "Devaluation Risk and the Syndrome of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations," NBER Working Papers 7014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Melike Altinkemer, 2001. "Capital Inflows And Central Bank’s Policy Response," Discussion Papers 0103, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    23. William C. Gruben & John H. Welch, 2001. "Banking and currency crisis recovery: Brazil's turnaround of 1999," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 12-23.
    24. Fausto Hernández Trillo & Alejandro Villagómez Amezcua, 2000. "La estructura de la deuda pública en México: Lecciones y perspectivas," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2108, Inter-American Development Bank.

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    Mexico ; Monetary policy;

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