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Theory and Empirics of Real Exchange Rates in Developing Countries


  • Raimundo Soto

    () (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.)

  • Ibrahim A. Elbadawi


This paper develops a general equilibrium model of the real exchange rate for a small open economy, taking into account often overlooked characteristics of developing economies, such as the presence of significant aid flows, terms of trade variability, distorting trade taxes, and concentration of exports on natural resources. The equilibrium RER results from the intertemporal, optimal decisions of households on consumption, production, and trade of different goods, conditional upon government policies and external conditions. The model derives a concept of the sustainable current account based on the yield of the discounted present value of net exports which provides a rigorous framework for the computation of the equilibrium RER and misalignment indexes. We test the model in a sample of 73 developing countries in the 1970-2004 period using the PMG estimator proposed by Pesaran et al. (1999) and find it to be an encompassing representation of the data. We also develop a methodology to compute the misalignment of the real exchange rate, which requires to compute the permanent components of the determinants of the RER and to identify the equilibrium path for each country.

Suggested Citation

  • Raimundo Soto & Ibrahim A. Elbadawi, 2007. "Theory and Empirics of Real Exchange Rates in Developing Countries," Documentos de Trabajo 324, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:324

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
    2. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodrigo Caputo & Mariel Siravegna, 2014. "RER Appreciation After the Great Recession: Misalignment or Fundamental Correction?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 718, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Ibrahim Ahmed Elbadawi & Raimundo Soto, 2012. "Resource Rents, Political Institutions and Economic Growth," Documentos de Trabajo 413, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    3. Couharde, Cécile & Coulibaly, Issiaka & Guerreiro, David & Mignon, Valérie, 2013. "Revisiting the theory of optimum currency areas: Is the CFA franc zone sustainable?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 428-441.
    4. Valdes, Alberto & Jara, Esteban, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Chile," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48391, World Bank.
    5. Yougbaré, Lassana, 2011. "Exchange rate arrangements and misalignments: contrasting words and deeds," MPRA Paper 32362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rodrigo Caputo & Miguel Fuentes, 2012. "Government Spending and the Real Exchange Rate: a Cross - Country Perspective," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 655, Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Rodrigo Caputo & Miguel Fuentes, 2013. "Real Exchange Rate Dynamics and Fiscal Policy from a Cross-Country Perspective," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.), Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 4, pages 93-116 Central Bank of Chile.

    More about this item


    Real exchange rates; general equilibrium; misalignment; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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