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The syndrome of exchange-rate-based stabilizations and the uncertain duration of currency pegs


  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Martin Uribe


This paper conducts a quantitative examination of the hypothesis that uncertain duration of currency pegs causes the sharp real appreciations and business cycles that affect chronically countries using fixed exchange rates as an instrument to stop high inflation. Numerical solutions of equilibrium dynamics of a two-sector small open economy with incomplete markets show that uncertain duration rationalizes the syndrome of exchange-rate-based stabilizations without price or wage rigidities. Three elements of the model are critical for these results: (a) a strictly-convex hazard rate function describing time-dependent devaluation probabilities, (b) the wealth effects introduced by incomplete insurance arkets, and (c) the supply-side effects introduced via capital accumulation and elastic labor supply. Uncertain duration also entails large welfare costs, compared to the perfect-foresight credibility framework, although temporary disinflations are welfare-improving. The model's potential empirical relevance is examined further by reviewing Mexico's post-war experience with the collapse of six currency pegs.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1996. "The syndrome of exchange-rate-based stabilizations and the uncertain duration of currency pegs," International Finance Discussion Papers 548, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:548

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wyplosz, Charles, 1991. "A Note on the Real Exchange Rate Effect of German Unification," CEPR Discussion Papers 527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Lewis S. Alexander & Joseph E. Gagnon, 1990. "The global economic implications of German unification," International Finance Discussion Papers 379, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Charles Wyplosz, 1991. "On the real exchange rate effect of German unification," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 127(1), pages 1-17, March.
    4. Mckibbin, W.J., 1990. "Some Global Macroeconomic Implications Of German Unification," Papers 81, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
    5. Hall, Stephen G, 1993. "Modelling Structural Change Using the Kalman Filter," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-13.
    6. Adams, Gwyn & Alexander, Lewis & Gagnon, Joseph, 1993. "German unification and the European Monetary System: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 353-392, August.
    7. Joseph E. Gagnon, 1989. "A forward-looking multicountry model: MX3," International Finance Discussion Papers 359, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Marla Ripoll, 2005. "Real Exchange Rate Targeting, Macroeconomic Performance and Sectoral Income Distribution in Developing Countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 167-196.
    2. Francisco Venegas-Martinez & Ambrosio Ortiz-Ramírez & Francisco Ortiz-Arango, 2012. "Temporary stabilization: a Fréchet-Weibullextreme value distribution approach," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 9(1), pages 35-55, Enero-Jun.
    3. Buffie, Edward F. & Atolia, Manoj, 2012. "Resurrecting the weak credibility hypothesis in models of exchange-rate-based stabilization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 361-372.
    4. Kolver Hernandez, 2004. "State-Dependent Nominal Rigidities & Disinflation Programs in Small Open Economies," Macroeconomics 0411021, EconWPA.
    5. 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.
    6. Steven B. Kamin & Marc Klau, 1997. "Some multi-country evidence on the effects of real exchange rates on output," BIS Working Papers 48, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Buffie, Edward F., 1999. "Optimal trade liberalization and the welfare costs of imperfect credibility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 371-398, April.
    8. Uribe, Martin, 1999. "Comparing the welfare costs and initial dynamics of alternative inflation stabilization policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 295-318, August.
    9. Kamin, Steven B., 2001. "Real exchange rates and inflation in exchange-rate-based stabilizations: an empirical examination," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 237-253, February.
    10. Norbert Fiess & Marco fugazza & William Maloney, 2002. "Exchange Rate Appreciations, Labor Market Rigidities, and Informality," Working Papers 2005_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    11. 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.
    12. Lahiri, Amartya, 2001. "Exchange rate based stabilizations under real frictions: The role of endogenous labor supply," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1157-1177, August.
    13. Martin Uribe, 1996. "The Tequila effect: theory and evidence from Argentina," International Finance Discussion Papers 552, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    14. Venegas-Martinez, Francisco, 2001. "Temporary stabilization: A stochastic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1429-1449, September.
    15. repec:sbe:breart:v:33:y:2013:i:1:a:14877 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Cunha, Alexandre B., 2002. "Optimal Exchange Rate Policy, Optimal Incomplete Taxation and Business Cycles," Insper Working Papers wpe_16, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    18. Cunha, Alexandre, 2013. "Optimal Exchange Rate Policy and Business Cycles," Brazilian Review of Econometrics, Sociedade Brasileira de Econometria - SBE, vol. 33(1), September.
    19. Enrica Detragiache & A. Javier Hamann, 1999. "Exchange Rate-Based Stabilization In Western Europe: Greece, Ireland, Italy, And Portugal," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(3), pages 358-369, July.
    20. Francisco Venegas-Martínez, 2005. "Temporary Stabilization and the Real Option of Waiting when Consumption can be Delayed: an Extreme Value Approach," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_043, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    21. Venegas-Martinez, Francisco, 2006. "Stochastic temporary stabilization: Undiversifiable devaluation and income risks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 157-173, January.
    22. Lahiri, Amartya, 2000. "Disinflation programs under policy uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 351-373, April.
    23. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.

    More about this item


    Foreign exchange rates ; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications


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