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Some multi-country evidence on the effects of real exchange rates on output

  • Steven B. Kamin
  • Marc Klau

The simultaneous occurrence of devaluation and recession in Mexico in 1995, as well as in the East Asian economies more recently, appears to contradict the conventional view that devaluations are expansionary. Moreover, a sizeable theoretical and empirical literature also argues that, contrary to the predictions of textbook analysis, exchange rate devaluations may be contractionary rather than expansionary. However, prior statistical analyses of the effects of exchange rate devaluation on output have been subject to several limitations: (i) they have failed to distinguish adequately between short and long-run effects; (ii) they have not controlled for the full range of external shocks; and (iii) they have not considered whether the effects of devaluation might differ between different regions of the world. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of devaluation on output for 27 countries while attempting to address these limitations in previous empirical analyses. We find no evidence that devaluations are contractionary in the long run. Additionally, controlling for sources of spurious correlation and reverse causality appears to mute the measured contractionary effect of devaluation in the short run, although this effect remains even after these controls are introduced. Finally, while the literature on contractionary devaluation has focused primarily on developing countries, we found no evidence that this effect is stronger in developing countries than in industrialised countries.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 611.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:611
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  1. Enrique G. Mendoza & Martin Uribe, 1997. "The syndrome of exchange-rate-based stabilizations and the uncertain duration of currency pegs," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 121, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Steven B. Kamin & John H. Rogers, 1997. "Output and the real exchange rate in developing countries: an application to Mexico," International Finance Discussion Papers 580, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Guillermo Calvo & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 1991. "Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization under Imperfect Credibility," IMF Working Papers 91/77, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jorge E. Roldós, 1995. "Supply-Side Effects of Disinflation Programs," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 158-183, March.
  5. Krugman, Paul & Taylor, Lance, 1978. "Contractionary effects of devaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 445-456, August.
  6. Martin Uribe, 1995. "Exchange-rate based inflation stabilization: the initial real effects of credible plans," International Finance Discussion Papers 503, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Vegh, Carlos, 1994. "Targeting the real exchange rate: Theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 13412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. 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.).
  9. Rogers, John H. & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Output, inflation, and stabilization in a small open economy: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 271-293, April.
  10. J. Saul Lizondo & Peter J. Montiel, 1989. "Contractionary Devaluation in Developing Countries: An Analytical Overview," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(1), pages 182-227, March.
  11. Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Alexander W. Hoffmaister, 1995. "Disinflation and the Recession-Now-Versus-Recession-Later Hypothesis; Evidence From Uruguay," IMF Working Papers 95/99, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Morley, Samuel A, 1992. "On the Effect of Devaluation during Stabilization Programs in LDCs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 21-27, February.
  13. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
  14. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1991. "Output, devaluation and the real exchange rate in developing countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 18-41, March.
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