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Capital Inflows Hinder Competitiveness? The Real Exchange Rate in Ethiopia

  • Pedro M G Martins
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    This paper investigates the determinants of the real exchange rate (RER) in Ethiopia. In particular, it assesses whether large capital inflows (e.g. foreign aid and remittances) have an impact on the RER. This empirical exercise tries to improve the current literature in a number of ways: (i) the use of quarterly data provides a larger sample size and enables the modelling of important intra-year dynamics, which should lead to better model specifications; (ii) the use of several cointegration approaches allows interesting methodological comparisons; and (iii) the use of a time series model (Unobserved Components) provides a new empirical approach and a robustness check on the econometric models. The results suggest two main (long-run) determinants of the RER in Ethiopia: trade openness is found to be correlated with RER depreciations, while a positive shock to the terms of trade tends to appreciate the RER. Foreign aid is not found to have a statistically significant impact, while there is only weak evidence that workers’ remittances could be associated with RER appreciations. The lack of empirical support for the Dutch disease hypothesis suggests that Ethiopia has been able to effectively manage large capital inflows, thus avoiding major episodes of macroeconomic instability.

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    File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/credit/documents/papers/10-07.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 10/07.

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    Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:10/07
    Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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    Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/

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    1. Christopher S. Adam & David L. Bevan, 2006. "Aid and the Supply Side: Public Investment, Export Performance, and Dutch Disease in Low-Income Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 261-290.
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    3. Buffie, Edward & Adam, Christopher & O'Connell, Stephen & Pattillo, Catherine, 2008. "Riding the wave: Monetary responses to aid surges in low-income countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1378-1395, November.
    4. H Issa & B Ouattara, 2004. "Foreign Aid Flows and Real Exchange Rate: Evidence from Syria," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0408, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    5. Wijnbergen, Sweder Van, 1986. "Macroeconomic aspects of the effectiveness of foreign aid: On the two-gap model, home goods disequilibrium and real exchange rate misalignment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 123-136, August.
    6. Banerjee, Anindya, et al, 1986. "Exploring Equilibrium Relationships in Econometrics through Static Models: Some Monte Carlo Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 253-77, August.
    7. Catherine A. Pattillo & Stephen A. O'Connell & Christopher Adam & Edward F. Buffie, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and the Management of official and Private Capital Flows in Africa," IMF Working Papers 04/216, International Monetary Fund.
    8. White, Howard & Wignaraja, Ganeshan, 1992. "Exchange rates, trade liberalization and aid: The Sri Lankan experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1471-1480, October.
    9. Joannes Mongardini & Brett Rayner, 2009. "Grants, Remittances, and the Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate in Sub-Saharan African Countries," IMF Working Papers 09/75, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Thierry Tressel & Alessandro Prati, 2006. "Aid Volatility and Dutch Disease; Is there a Role for Macroeconomic Policies?," IMF Working Papers 06/145, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
    12. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, June.
    13. Yves Bourdet & Hans Falck, 2006. "Emigrants' remittances and Dutch Disease in Cape Verde," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 267-284.
    14. Michaely, Michael, 1981. "Foreign aid, economic structure, and dependence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 313-330, December.
    15. Emmanuel K. K. Lartey, 2007. "Capital inflows and the real exchange rate: An empirical study of sub-Saharan Africa," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 337-357.
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