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Sources of economic fluctuations in Latin America and implications for choice of exchange rate regimes

  • Shaghil Ahmed
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    This paper studies the sources of economic fluctuations in three key Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico) using a dynamic panel model, distinguishing between external and domestic shocks. The primary motivation is to examine the implications for the choice of monetary and exchange rate regimes, including dollarization. The results do not provide a strong, clear case in favor of a particular policy choice. On the one hand, foreign output shocks, including those of the U.S., appear to have a quite limited role in driving output fluctuations in these Latin countries; this absence of common shocks undermines the case for a rigidly fixed exchange rate regime. On the other hand, the historical experience of these countries indicates that real exchange rates are not very responsive to external shocks, in general, and that exchange rate depreciations tend to be contractionary in the short run. This suggests that rigidity of exchange rates may not be as costly for these countries as economic theory leads us to expect. Although the historical experience of these countries is certainly relevant, the caveat that it is characterized by several failed fixed exchange rate regimes, thereby making it a less-than-ideal testing ground for evaluating a pure floating exchange rate system, should be noted.

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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1999/656/default.htm
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1999/656/ifdp656.pdf
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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 656.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:656
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    1. Fackler, James S. & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Output, inflation and stabilization: a counterfactual analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 619-640, October.
    2. Jose De Gregorio & Holger C. Wolf, 1994. "Terms of Trade, Productivity, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 4807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Financial Fragility," NBER Working Papers 7418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. 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.
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    8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fixing for Your Life," NBER Working Papers 8006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
    10. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Edwards, Sebastian & Vegh, Carlos A., 1997. "Banks and macroeconomic disturbances under predetermined exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 239-278, October.
    12. Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "International Monetary Arrangements for the 21st Century," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-021, University of California at Berkeley.
    13. C. John McDermott & Eswar Prasad & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1999. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries; Some Stylized Facts," IMF Working Papers 99/35, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Atish R. Ghosh, 1998. "Currency Boards; The Ultimate Fix?," IMF Working Papers 98/8, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2001. "Reflections on Dollarization," MPRA Paper 8206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Reinhart, Carmen, 1995. "Devaluation, Relative Prices, and International Trade: Evidence from Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 6974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Steven B. Kamin & Oliver D. Babson, 1999. "The contributions of domestic and external factors to Latin American devaluation crises: an early warning systems approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 645, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1999. "Exchange Rates in Emerging Economies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 7228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Tamim Bayoumi and Barry Eichengreen., 1993. "One Money or Many? On Analyzing the Prospects for Monetary Unification in Various Parts of the World," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-030, University of California at Berkeley.
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