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Net Worth, Exchange Rates, and Monetary Policy: The Effects of a Devaluation in a Financially Fragile Environment


  • Domenico Delli Gatti
  • Mauro Gallegati
  • Bruce C. Greenwald
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz


In this paper we propose an Open Economy Financial Accelerator model along the lines of Greenwald-Stiglitz (1993) close in spirit but different in many respects from the one proposed by Greenwald (1998.) The first goal of the paper is to provide a taxonomy of the effects of a devaluation in this context. The direct (first round) effect on output, taking as given net worth and interest rate, is negative for domestic firms (due to the input cost effect) and positive for exporting firms (due to a positive foreign debt effect). The indirect (second round) wealth effect (on output through net worth, taking as given the interest rate) is uncertain, depending on the relative size of the domestic and exporting firms. There is also an indirect effect on output through the response of the domestic interest rate to a devaluation due to the risk premium effect. Due to the uncertainty on the sign of most of these effects, it is difficult to assess the overall impact of a devaluation. One cannot rule out, however, an economy-wide contractionary effect of a devaluation. If the devaluation affects negatively the net worth of domestic firms, the domestic interest rate may rise (due to the risk premium effect), exerting an additional contractionary impact on output. If, on top of that, the monetary authorities force a further increase of the interest rate in an effort to curb the exchange rate, the contractionary effect will be emphasized.

Suggested Citation

  • Domenico Delli Gatti & Mauro Gallegati & Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2007. "Net Worth, Exchange Rates, and Monetary Policy: The Effects of a Devaluation in a Financially Fragile Environment," NBER Working Papers 13244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13244
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 1998. "Emerging Market Crises: An Asset Markets Perspective," Working papers 98-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. 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, March.
    3. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Gust, Christopher & Roldos, Jorge, 2004. "Monetary policy in a financial crisis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 64-103, November.
    4. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2000. "A simple model of monetary policy and currency crises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 728-738, May.
    5. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1990. "Financial Fragility and Economic Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 87-114.
    6. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
    7. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2004. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1183-1193, September.
    8. Hali J. Edison & Pongsak Luangaram & Marcus Miller, 1998. "Asset bubbles, domino effects and 'lifeboats': elements of the East Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 606, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysun, Uluc, 2008. "Automatic stabilizer feature of fixed exchange rate regimes," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 302-328, December.
    2. Canofari, Paolo & Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni, 2017. "Regime switches under policy uncertainty in monetary unions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 124-132.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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