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The Capital Inflows Problem Revisited: A Stylized Model of Southern Cone Disinflation

  • Maurice Obstfeld

In the late 1970s countries in Latin America's Southern Cone attempted to lower domestic inflation rates through the progressive reduction of a preannounced rate of exchange-rate devaluation. The stabilization programs gave rise to massive capital inflows, real exchange-rate appreciation, and current-account deficits. This paper develops a stylized intertemporal framework in which the effects of a preannounced exchange-rate oriented disinflation scheme can be studied. It is shown that even when agents have perfect foresight and markets clear continuously, the "capital inflows" problem and the associated real appreciation may result.While unanticipated, permanent inflation changes are neutral in the paper,anticipated inflation is neutral only in exceptional circumstances. A preannounced disinflation operates by altering the path of an expenditure -based real domestic interest rate that depends on expected changes in the prices of liquidity services and nontradable consumption goods. Alternatively, by raising future real balances, anticipated disinflation may cause an incipient change in the time path of consumption's marginal utility, leading agents to revise consumption plans. It is noteworthy that disinflation's long-run effect on the real exchange rate more than reverses its short-run effect. If disinflation occasions a real appreciation on impact, say, the relative price of tradables must rise in the long run so that the economy can service the additional external debt incurred in the transition period.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1456.

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Date of creation: Sep 1984
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Publication status: published as Obstfeld, Maurice. "The Capital Inflows Problem Revisited: A Stylized Model of Southern Cone Disinflation,"Review of Economic Studies, October 1985.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1456
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  1. Samuelson, Paul A & Swamy, S, 1974. "Invariant Economic Index Numbers and Canonical Duality: Survey and Synthesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 566-93, September.
  2. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-53, February.
  3. Jacob A. Frenkel & Rudiger Dornbusch & William H. Branson & Ricardo H. Arriazu, 1983. "Panel Discussion on Southern Cone," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 164-184, March.
  4. Gray, Jo Anna, 1984. "Dynamic Instability in Rational Expectations Models: An Attempt to Clarify," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 93-122, February.
  5. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1983. "Intertemporal price speculation and the optimal current-account deficit," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 135-145, August.
  6. Fischer, Stanley, 1979. "Capital Accumulation on the Transition Path in a Monetary Optimizing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1433-39, November.
  7. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
  8. Fischer, Stanley, 1979. "Anticipations and the Nonneutrality of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 225-52, April.
  9. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1982. "The Argentine stabilization plan of December 20th," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(9), pages 801-811, September.
  10. Weiss, Laurence M, 1980. "The Effects of Money Supply on Economic Welfare in the Steady State," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 565-76, April.
  11. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "The Two-Sector Open Economy and the Real Exchange Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 566-77, September.
  12. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
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