Dedollarization and financial robustness
This paper evaluates the qualitative and quantitative implications of financial dedollarization of firms' liabilities on real aggregates in a small open economy model. We extend the standard Cespedes, Chang, and Velasco (2004) model by allowing entrepreneurs borrow in both foreign and domestic currency so as to finance firms' capital needs. A real depreciation reduces the value of firms' net worth whenever there is a currency mismatch in their balance sheets. Under flexible exchange rates, a lower degree of dollarization lessens the negative impact on output and investment, since there is a smaller increase in the cost of external borrowing. The quantitative results show that the balance sheet channel accounts for about 70 percent of the output and investment drop in Peru following the Russian Crisis, and a reduction in debt dollarization would have reduced output drop in 0.9 percentage points of GDP.
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