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Financial Repression and Exchange Rate Management in Developing Countries; Theory and Empirical Evidence for India

  • Renu Kohli
  • Kenneth Kletzer

Most developing countries have imposed restrictions on domestic and international financial transactions at one time or another. Such restrictions have allowed governments to generate significant proportions of their revenues from financial repression while restraining inflation. The eventual fiscal importance of the revenues from seignorage and from implicit taxation of financial intermediation pose a challenge for financial reform and liberalization. This paper presents a model of the role of financial repression in fiscal policy and exchange rate management under capital controls. We show how a balance of payments crisis arises under an exchange rate peg without capital account convertibility in the model economy and how the instruments of financial repression may be used for exchange rate management. The model is compared to the experience of India, a country that exemplifies the fiscal importance of financial restrictions, in the last two decades. In particular, we discuss the dynamics leading up to devaluation in 1991 and the role of financial repression in exchange rate intervention afterwards.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/103.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/103
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  1. Demetriades, Panicos O & Luintel, Kul B, 1996. "Financial Development, Economic Growth and Banker Sector Controls: Evidence from India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 359-74, March.
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  10. Panicos Demetriades & Kul B. Luintel, 1995. "The Direct Costs of Financial Repression: Evidence from India," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 95/12, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  11. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  12. Brock, Philip L, 1989. "Reserve Requirements and the Inflation Tax," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(1), pages 106-21, February.
  13. Giovannini, Alberto & de Melo, Martha, 1993. "Government Revenue from Financial Repression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 953-63, September.
  14. Nichols, Donald A, 1974. "Some Principles of Inflationary Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 423-30, Part I, M.
  15. Bencivenga, Valerie R & Smith, Bruce D, 1992. "Deficits, Inflation, and the Banking System in Developing Countries: The Optimal Degree of Financial Repression," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 767-90, October.
  16. Sussman, Oren, 1991. "Macroeconomic Effects of a Tax on Bond Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 352-66, August.
  17. Gupta, Kanhaya L. & Lensink, Robert, 1997. "Financial repression and fiscal policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 351-373, August.
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