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

  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Asea, Patrick

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13357.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13357
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  1. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-27, June.
  2. Cuddington, John, 1989. "Commodity Export Booms in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 143-65, July.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "The capital inflows problem: Concepts and issues," MPRA Paper 13902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Montiel, P.J., 1995. "Financial Policies and Economic Growth: Theory, Evidence and Country-Specific Experience from Sub-Saharan Africa," Papers 18s, African Economic Research Consortium.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "Capital inflows to Latin America," MPRA Paper 13406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Reuven Glick & Ramon Moreno, 1994. "Capital flows and monetary policy in East Asia," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 94-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Vegh, Carlos, 1994. "Targeting the real exchange rate: Theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 13412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Vicente Galbis, 1993. "High Real Interest Rates Under Financial Liberalization; Is there a Problem?," IMF Working Papers 93/7, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Miller, Stephen M., 1988. "The Beveridge-Nelson decomposition of economic time series : Another economical computational method," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 141-142, January.
  11. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1989. "A Traditional Interpretation of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1146-64, December.
  12. Reinhart, C.M. & Dunaway, S., 1996. "Dealing with Capital Inflows. Are There Any Lessons?," Research Paper 28, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  13. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Peter Wickham, 1994. "Commodity Prices: Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 175-213, June.
  15. Carlos F. Diaz-Alejandro, 1984. "Latin American Debt: I Don't Think We Are in Kansas Anymore," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 335-403.
  16. Elbadawi, Ibrahim A. & Soto, Raimundo, 1994. "Capital flows and long-term equilibrium real exchange rates in Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1306, The World Bank.
  17. Ghura, Dhaneshwar & Grennes, Thomas J., 1993. "The real exchange rate and macroeconomic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-174, October.
  18. Asea, Patrick K & Mendoza, Enrique G, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: A General-Equilibrium Appraisal," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 244-67, October.
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