IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Corporate Dollar Debt and Depreciations: Much Ado About Nothing?

  • Hoyt Bleakley
  • Kevin Cowan

Much has been written recently about the problems for emerging markets that might result from a mismatch between foreign-currency denominated liabilities and assets (or income flows) denominated in local currency. In particular, several models, developed in the aftermath of financial crises of the late 1990s, suggest that the expansion in the "peso" value of "dollar" liabilities resulting from a devaluation could, via a net worth effect, offset the expansionary competitiveness effect. Assessing which effect dominates is ultimately an empirical matter. In this vein, this paper constructs a new database with accounting information (including the currency composition of liabilities) for over 450 non-financial firms in five Latin American countries. The authors estimate, at the firm level, the reduced-form effect on investment of holding foreign-currency-denominated debt during an exchange-rate realignment. It is consistently found that, contrary to the predicted sign of the net-worth effect, firms holding more dollar debt do not invest less than their counterparts in the aftermath of a depreciation. The paper shows that this result is due to firms matching the currency denomination of their liabilities with the exchange-rate sensitivity of their profits. Because of this matching, the negative balance-sheet effects of a depreciation on firms holding dollar debt are offset by the larger competitiveness gains of these firms.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4411.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4411
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1300 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20577
Phone: 202-623-1000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Love, Inessa, 2001. "Financial development and financing constraints - international evidence from the structural investment model," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2694, The World Bank.
  2. Bonomo, Marco & Martins, Betina & Pinto, Rodrigo, 2003. "Debt composition and exchange rate balance sheet effect in Brazil: a firm level analysis," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 368-396, December.
  3. Ignacio Lobato & Sangeeta Pratap & Alejandro Somuano, 2004. "Debt Composition and Balance Sheet Effects of Exchange Rate Volatility in Mexico: A Firm Level Analysis," Working Papers 0405, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  4. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  5. Calvo, Guillermo A, 2001. "Capital Markets and the Exchange Rate with Special Reference to the Dollarization Debate in Latin America," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 312-34, May.
  6. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
  7. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  8. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  9. Laeven, Luc, 2000. "Does financial liberalization relax financing constraints on firms ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2467, The World Bank.
  10. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 1-90.
  11. Banerjee, Abhijit & Bacchetta, Philippe & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Currency Crises and Monetary Policy in an Economy with Credit Constraints," Scholarly Articles 4554218, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1991. "Corporate Structure, Liquidity, and Investment: Evidence from Japanese Industrial Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 33-60, February.
  13. Echeverry, Juan Carlos & Fergusson, Leopoldo & Steiner, Roberto & Aguilar, Camila, 2003. "'Dollar' debt in Colombian firms: are sinners punished during devaluations?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 417-449, December.
  14. Benavente, Jose Miguel & Johnson, Christian A. & Morande, Felipe G., 2003. "Debt composition and balance sheet effects of exchange rate depreciations: a firm-level analysis for Chile," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 397-416, December.
  15. Luis Felipe Cespedes & Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 2000. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," NBER Working Papers 7840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & Kristin J. Forbes, 2004. "Financial Constraints and Growth: Multinational and Local Firm Responses to Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 10545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  18. Carlos Óscar Arteta, 2003. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Financial Dollarization: Does Flexibility Reduce Bank Currency Mismatches?," International Finance 0303005, EconWPA.
  19. Luis Carranza & Juan M. Cayo & José E. Galdón-Sánchez, 2003. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Economic Performance in Peru: A Firm Level Analysis," Faculty Working Papers 12/03, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  20. Martin Schneider & Aaron Tornell, 2000. "Balance SHeet Effects, Bailout Guarantees and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 8060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1998. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 193-225, March.
  22. Francisco A. Gallego & Norman Loayza, 2000. "Financial Structure in Chile: Macroeconomic Developments and Microeconomic Effects," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1115, Econometric Society.
  23. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci, 2007. "External Constraints on Monetary Policy and the Financial Accelerator," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 295-330, 03.
  24. Martinez, Lorenza & Werner, Alejandro, 2002. "The exchange rate regime and the currency composition of corporate debt: the Mexican experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 315-334, December.
  25. Mitton, Todd, 2002. "A cross-firm analysis of the impact of corporate governance on the East Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 215-241, May.
  26. Michael L. Lemmon & Karl V. Lins, 2003. "Ownership Structure, Corporate Governance, and Firm Value: Evidence from the East Asian Financial Crisis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1445-1468, 08.
  27. Bernanke, B. & Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," Working Papers 98-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  28. Lang, Larry & Ofek, Eli & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Leverage, investment, and firm growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
  29. Ronald I. McKinnon & Huw Pill, 1996. "The overborrowing syndrome: are East Asian economies different?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 322-355.
  30. Harris, John R & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Siregar, Miranda G, 1994. "The Effect of Financial Liberalization on the Capital Structure and Investment Decisions of Indonesian Manufacturing Establishments," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 17-47, January.
  31. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alain Ize, 1998. "Dollarization of Financial Intermediation: Causes and Policy Implications," IMF Working Papers 98/28, International Monetary Fund.
  32. Arteta, Carlos, 2002. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Financial Dollarization: Does Flexibility Reduce Bank Currency Mismatches?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9jb1p0jg, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4411. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Monica Bazan)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.