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Interest rates in open economies : real interest rate parity, exchange rates, and country risk in industrial and developing countries

Listed author(s):
  • Das Gupta, Dipak
  • Das Gupta, Bejoy
  • DEC

The paper tests for the relative importance of international capital market integration in determining interest rates in a broad sample of both industrial and developing countries. The recent turbulence in industrial country financial markets has underscored these concerns. One view holds that it is possible for countries to conduct an independent domestic interest rate policy. The other suggests that there is very little room for managing interest rates in open economies without destabilizing effects on exchange rates - given the massive volumes of capital market transactions that force interest rate parity across countries. Interest rate formation in developing countries has attracted much less attention. But it is an increasingly important issue as a growing number of them undertake financial liberalization. The central question for policy-makers is again the degree to which domestic interest rates are influenced by world interest rates. A separate concern is high domestic interest rates, relative to world interest rates, in some developing countries. A model of real interest rate parity is proposed as the main test for capital market integration - that is, that nominal interest rate differences across countries are largely explained by inflation differentials (rather than uncovered or covered nominal interest parity). The evidence suggests strongly that although domestic monetary policies play a significant role, real interest parity is a dominant factor, in both industrial and developing countries. However, expectations of exchange rate changes also significantly influence interest rates. A third key factor is the apparent presence of significant"country risk", unexplained by macroeconomic imbalances, for some developing countries (for example, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines) pushing real domestic interest rates higher than what would be otherwise predicted. The concluding section discusses the possible reasons for such"country-risk"in the case of Indonesia.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1283.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 1994
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1283
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  1. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1980. "Exchange-Rate Expectations and Nominal Interest Differentials: A Test ofthe Fisher Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 0537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ahmed, Sadiq & Kapur, Basant K., 1990. "How Indonesia's monetary policy affects key variables," Policy Research Working Paper Series 349, The World Bank.
  3. Frenkel, Jacob A & Levich, Richard M, 1975. "Covered Interest Arbitrage: Unexploited Profits?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 325-338, April.
  4. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Exchange Rates and the Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 960-971, December.
  5. D. F. I. Folkerts-Landau & Donald J Mathieson & Morris Goldstein & Liliana Rojas-Suárez & José Saúl Lizondo & Timothy D. Lane, 1991. "Determinants and Systemic Consequences of International Capital Flows," IMF Occasional Papers 77, International Monetary Fund.
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