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Dollarization as a Signaling Device

The objective of this paper is to point out that dollarization, apart from being a commitment device, may also be used as a signaling device if there is uncertainty about the government’s intentions. To this end, we modify the standard approach to modeling monetary policy by introducing two types of government: good and bad. It is assumed that the good government conducts optimal policy while the bad government prefers to finance higher (than optimal) government expenditure by printing money. People do not observe the type of government, however they know the probability distribution over the two government types. Due to this uncertainty, the good government cannot achieve the first best even if it conducts optimal monetary policy. Hence, the good government has an incentive to dollarize, while the bad governments avoids this step. As a result, we obtain a separating equilibrium where dollarization is a perfect signal of the government type.

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File URL: http://www.nbp.pl/publikacje/materialy_i_studia/63_en.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute in its series National Bank of Poland Working Papers with number 63.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbp:nbpmis:63
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  1. Silvana Tenreyro & Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Economic Effects of Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 9435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Click, Reid W, 1998. "Seigniorage in a Cross-Section of Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 154-71, May.
  3. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2003. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 715-741.
  4. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  5. Phelan, Christopher, 2006. "Public trust and government betrayal," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 27-43, September.
  6. Cristina Arellano & Jonathan Heathcote, 2007. "Dollarization and financial integration," Staff Report 385, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2000. "Currency Unions," NBER Working Papers 7927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Russell W. Cooper & Hubert Kempf., 2001. "Dollarization and the conquest of hyperinflation in divided societies," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-12.
  9. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "The costs of losing monetary independence: the case of Mexico," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 370-403.
  10. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2001. "Capital markets and the exchange rate with special reference to the dollarization debate in Latin America," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 312-338.
  12. Christopher Phelan, 2001. "Public trust and government betrayal," Staff Report 283, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Mendoza, Enrique G, 2001. "The Benefits of Dollarization When Stabilization Policy Lacks Credibility and Financial Markets Are Imperfect," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 440-74, May.
  14. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
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