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The Liberalization of the Current Capital Accounts and the Real ExchangeRate

  • Sebastian Edwards

In this paper a general equilibrium intertemporal model with optimizing consumers and producers is developed to analyze how different policies geared at liberalizing the current and capital accounts of the balance of payments affect the equilibrium real exchange rate (RER). In particular, the effects of a reduction in the level of import tariffs and of a change in the tax on foreign borrowing on the equilibrium RER are investigated. In the case of import tariffs, both a temporary and an anticipated liberalization are considered. It is shown that in the case of tariffs reduction it is not possible to know a priori whether the equilibrium RER will appreciate or depreciate. However, a liberalization of the capital account will always result in an equilibrium real appreciation in the current period. It is then argued that analyses of this type are essential to evaluate whether observed movements in the RER represent a misalignment situation or if they are an equilibrium phenomenon. The case of the recent liberalization attempts in the Southern Cone are also discussed.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2162.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2162.

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Date of creation: Feb 1987
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Publication status: published as "Tariffs, Capital Controls, and Equilibrium Real Exchange Rates." From Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 79-92, (February 1989).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2162
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Neary, J Peter, 1978. "Short-Run Capital Specificity and the Pure Theory of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(351), pages 488-510, September.
  2. Joshua Aizenman, 1983. "Tariff Liberalization Policy and Financial Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 1253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Razin, Assaf & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1983. "Trade taxes and the current account," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 55-57.
  5. Hanson, James & de Melo, Jaime, 1985. "External shocks, financial reforms, and stabilization attempts in Uruguay during 1974-1983," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 917-939, August.
  6. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1974. "Tariffs and nontraded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 177-185, May.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel, Kenneth A. Froot, and Alejandra Mizala Salces., 1987. "Credibility, the Optimal Speed of Trade Liberalization, Real Interest Rates, and the Latin American Debt," Economics Working Papers 8750, University of California at Berkeley.
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