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Real exchange rates and inflation in exchange-rate based stabilizations: an empirical examination


  • Steven B. Kamin


Considerable research has focused on explaining why currencies appreciate in real terms after the nominal exchange rate is stabilized, but this research generally has taken a theoretical approach, and rarely has tested its hypotheses empirically. In this paper I estimate a simple error-correction model for Mexico, based on the Salter-Swan framework, in which inflation is determined by (1) the gap between the actual real exchange rate and the exchange rate that clears the market for non-traded goods, and (2) persistence effects of past inflation. Using this model, I decompose the excess of Mexican inflation in 1988-94 over peso-adjusted international inflation rates--that is, the real appreciation of the peso--into that part attributable to the initial undervaluation of the peso, that part explained by the subsequent expansion of domestic demand, and that part attributable to inertial inflation. The results indicate that the effects of inertial inflation in appreciating the real exchange rate were quite temporary, lasting only about a year after the stabilization of the peso in 1988. Of the real appreciation that took place between 1988 and 1994, about half was attributable to the expansion of domestic demand-which appreciated the equilibrium real exchange rate in the non-tradeables sector--and about half reflected the correction of the initial undervaluation of the real exchange rate relative to its equilibrium level in the non-tradeables sector. Finally, the paper uses the model to illustrate the impact of various prospective exchange rate policies on inflation and the real exchange rate in Mexico.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven B. Kamin, 1996. "Real exchange rates and inflation in exchange-rate based stabilizations: an empirical examination," International Finance Discussion Papers 554, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:554

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 1991. "Stopping High Inflation; An Analytical Overview," IMF Working Papers 91/107, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1995. "Nominal interest rates, consumption booms, and lack of credibility: A quantitative examination," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 357-378, April.
    3. de Brouwer, Gordon & Ericsson, Neil R, 1998. "Modeling Inflation in Australia," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(4), pages 433-449, October.
    4. Sergio Rebelo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 125-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jorge E. Roldós, 1995. "Supply-Side Effects of Disinflation Programs," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 158-183, March.
    6. Sebastian Edwards, 1993. "Exchange Rates, Inflation and Disinflation: Latin American Experiences," NBER Working Papers 4320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1994. "Stabilization dynamics and backward-looking contracts," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 59-84, February.
    8. T. W.Swan, 1960. "Economic Control In A Dependent Economy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 51-66, March.
    9. Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Exchange-rate-based inflation stabilization: The initial real effects of credible plans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 197-221, July.
    10. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1982. "The Argentine stabilization plan of December 20th," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(9), pages 801-811, September.
    11. Guillermo Calvo & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 1991. "Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization under Imperfect Credibility," IMF Working Papers 91/77, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frait, Jan & Komárek, Luboš, 2002. "Theoretical And Empirical Analysis Of The Debt-Adjusted Real Exchange Rate In Selected Transition Economies During 1994-2001," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 646, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Truman, Edwin M., 2014. "The Federal Reserve engages the world (1970-2000): an insider's narrative of the transition to managed floating and financial turbulence," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 210, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Durevall, Dick & Loening, Josef L. & Ayalew Birru, Yohannes, 2013. "Inflation dynamics and food prices in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 89-106.
    7. Steven B. Kamin, 1998. "A multi-country comparison of the linkages between inflation and exchange rate competitiveness," International Finance Discussion Papers 603, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).


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