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Real interest rate differentials and the real exchange rate: Evidence from four African countries

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  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Asea, Patrick

Abstract

During the early 1990s much has been written about the return of foreign private capital to many of the larger Asian and Latin American countries. However, until 1992 there was little evidence that countries in sub-Saharan Africa were participating in this phenomenon. In this paper we use variance decompositions and impulse responses from vector autoregressions to shed light on the possible causes and consequences of capital inflows to four countries: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. We use trend-cycle decompositions to provide evidence linking the appreciation of the real exchange rate to periods of heavy capital inflows. We show that domestic real interest rates have played an important role in explaining the recent behavior of the real exchange rate. In particular, we trace the rise in domestic nominal and real interest rates to policies designed to liberalize the domestic financial sector and attempts to curb the monetary expansion associated with the capital inflows through sterilized intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhart, Carmen & Asea, Patrick, 1995. "Real interest rate differentials and the real exchange rate: Evidence from four African countries," MPRA Paper 13357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13357
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    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Capital Inflows Problem: Concepts And Issues," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 54-66, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reinhart, Carmen M & Reinhart, Vincent R, 1999. "On the Use of Reserve Requirements in Dealing with Capital Flow Problems," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(1), pages 27-54, January.
    2. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi, 2011. "Foreign Aid Inflows and the Real Exchange Rate: Are There Dutch Disease Effects in Ghana?," The IUP Journal of Financial Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(4), pages 28-59, December.
    3. Reinhart, C.M. & Dunaway, S., 1996. "Dealing with Capital Inflows. Are There Any Lessons?," Research Paper 28, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
    4. Ms. Catherine A Pattillo & Mr. Stephen A. O'Connell & Mr. Christopher S Adam & Mr. Edward F Buffie, 2004. "Exchange Rate Policy and the Management of Official and Private Capital Flows in Africa," IMF Working Papers 2004/216, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Mr. Andrew Berg & Mr. Rafael A Portillo & Mr. Edward F Buffie & Ms. Catherine A Pattillo & Luis-Felipe Zanna, 2012. "Public Investment, Growth, and Debt Sustainability: Putting together the Pieces," IMF Working Papers 2012/144, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Markus Brueckner & Birgit Hansl, 2018. "Drivers of Growth in the Philippines," CEPR Discussion Papers 702, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. Salifou Issoufou & Mr. Edward F Buffie & Mouhamadou Bamba Diop & Kalidou Thiaw, 2014. "Efficient Energy Investment and Fiscal Adjustment in Senegal," IMF Working Papers 2014/044, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Buffie, Edward F. & O'Connell, Stephen A. & Adam, Christopher, 2010. "Fiscal inertia, donor credibility, and the monetary management of aid surges," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 287-298, November.
    9. Njuguna S. Ndung'U & Rose W. Ngugi, 1999. "Adjustment and liberalization in Kenya: the financial and foreign exchange markets," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 465-491.
    10. Tatsuma Wada, 2012. "The Real Exchange Rate And Real Interest Differentials: The Role Of The Trend-Cycle Decomposition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 968-987, October.
    11. 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.
    12. Stephen A. O'Connell, 2011. "Towards a Rule-based Approach to Monetary Policy Evaluation in Sub-Saharan Africa-super- †," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 20(suppl_2), pages -66, May.
    13. Louis Kasekende & Damoni Kitabire & Matthew Martin, 1996. "Capital Inflows and Macroeconomic Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_158, Levy Economics Institute.
    14. Ndung'u, N.S., 1999. "Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy in Kenya," Papers 94, African Economic Research Consortium.
    15. Louis Kasekende & Damoni Kitabire & Matthew Martin, 1998. "Capital Inflows and Macroeconomic Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa," Macroeconomics 9809005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Eberhardt, Markus & Presbitero, Andrea F., 2021. "Commodity prices and banking crises," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    17. Elbadawi, Ibrahim A & Soto, Raimundo, 1997. "Real Exchange Rates and Macroeconomic Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Developing Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 6(3), pages 74-120, Supplemen.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital flows real exchange rate interest rates;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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