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Is Brazil Different? Risk, Dollarization, and Interest Rates in Emerging Markets

  • Márcio Holland
  • Edmar L. Bacha
  • Fernando M. Gonçalves

We investigate the role of financial dollarization in the determination of real interest rates in emerging economies. In a simple analytical model, we show that a strategy of "dedollarizing" the economy, if it fails to address fundamental macroeconomic risks, leads to higher domestic real interest rates. We confirm this prediction in an empirical model, but find that the effect is small after controlling for the risks of dilution and default. Brazil provides a natural case study given its low degree of financial dollarization and very high real interest rates. The estimated model is unable to explain the high interest rate levels in the aftermath of Brazil's 1994 inflation stabilization. However, since the adoption in 1999 of inflation targeting and floating exchange rates, Brazil's real interest rates are gradually converging to the model's predicted values. The estimation also shows that further drops in Brazil's real interest rates could be achieved more effectively through improvements in fundamentals that lead to investment-grade status rather than through financial dollarization.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/294.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/294
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  1. De Nicolo, Gianni & Honohan, Patrick & Ize, Alain, 2003. "Dollarization of the banking system : good or bad?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3116, The World Bank.
  2. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  4. Augusto de la Torre & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2004. "Coping with Risks through Mismatches: Domestic and International Financial Contracts for Emerging Economies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 349-390, December.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 53-58, May.
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  8. 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.
  9. Marcelo Kfoury Muinhos & Márcio I. Nakane, 2006. "Comparing equilibrium real interest rates: different approaches to measure Brazilian rates," Working Papers Series 101, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
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  11. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  12. Paulo Chananeco F. de Barcellos Neto & Marcelo Savino Portugal, 2006. "The Natural Rate Of Interest In Brazil Between 1999 And 2005," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 84, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  13. Afonso S. Bevilaqua & Mário Mesquita & André Minella, 2007. "Brazil: taming inflation expectations," Working Papers Series 129, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    • Afonso S Bevilaqua & Mário Mesquita & André Minella, 2008. "Brazil: taming inflation expectations," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Transmission mechanisms for monetary policy in emerging market economies, volume 35, pages 139-158 Bank for International Settlements.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:181565 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Robert Rennhack & Masahiro Nozaki, 2006. "Financial Dollarization in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 06/7, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Adam Bennett & Eduardo Borensztein & Tomás J. T. Baliño, 1999. "Monetary Policy in Dollarized Economies," IMF Occasional Papers 171, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 73-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
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  22. Fernando M. Gonçalves & Márcio Holland & Andrei D. Spacov, 2005. "Can Jurisdictional Uncertainty And Capital Controls Explain The High Level Of Real Interest Rates In Brazil? Evidence From Panel Data," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 028, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  23. Arturo Galindo & Leonardo Leiderman, 2005. "Living with Dollarization and the Route to Dedollarization," Research Department Publications 4397, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  24. Arteta Carlos O., 2005. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Financial Dollarization: Does Flexibility Reduce Currency Mismatches in Bank Intermediation?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, May.
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