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The Long-Term “Optimal” Real Exchange Rate And The Currency Overvaluation Trend In Open Emerging Economies: The Case Of Brazil

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  • André Nassif
  • Carmem Feijó
  • Eliane Araújo

Abstract

We present a Structuralist-Keynesian theoretical approach on the determinants of the real exchange rate (RER) for open emerging economies. Instead of macroeconomic fundamentals, the long-term trend of the real exchange rate level is better determined not only by structural forces and long-term economic policies, but also by both short-term macroeconomic policies and their indirect effects on other short-term economic variables. In our theoretical model, the actual real exchange rate is broken down into long-term structural and short-term components, both of which may be responsible for deviations of that actual variable from its long-term trend level. We also propose an original concept of a long-term “optimal” real exchange rate for open emerging economies. The econometric models for the Brazilian economy in the 1999–2011 period show that, among the structural variables, the GDP per capita and the terms of trade had the largest estimated coefficients correlated with the long-term trend of the RER in Brazil. As to our variables influenced by the short-term economic policies, the short-term interest rate differential and the stock of international reserves reveal the largest estimated coefficients correlated with the long-term trend of our explained variable. The econometric results show two basic conclusions: first, the Brazilian currency was persistently overvalued throughout almost all of the period under analysis; and second, the long-term “optimal” real exchange rate was reached in 2004. According to our estimation, in April 2011, the real overvaluation of the Brazilian currency in relation to the long-term “optimal” level was around 80 per cent. These findings lead us to suggest in the conclusion that a mix of policy instruments should have been used in order to reverse the overvaluation trend of the Brazilian real exchange rate, including a target for reaching the “optimal” real exchange rate in the medium and the long-run.

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  • André Nassif & Carmem Feijó & Eliane Araújo, 2011. "The Long-Term “Optimal” Real Exchange Rate And The Currency Overvaluation Trend In Open Emerging Economies: The Case Of Brazil," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 206, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:unc:dispap:206
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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Cimoli & Jose Antonio Ocampo & Gabriel Porcile, 2017. "Choosing sides in the trilemma: international financial cycles and structural change in developing economies," LEM Papers Series 2017/26, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. -, 2014. "Perspectivas económicas de América Latina 2015: educación, competencias e innovación para el desarrollo," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 37445 edited by Ocde, February.
    3. -, 2014. "Latin American Economic Outlook 2015: Education, skills and innovation for development," Coediciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 37446 edited by Ocde, February.
    4. Cimoli, Mario & Martins, Antonio & Porcile, Gabriel & Sossdorf, Fernando, 2015. "Productivity, social expenditure and income distribution in Latin America," Desarrollo Productivo 201, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

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