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Financial dollarization and central bank credibility

  • Cowan, kevin
  • Quy-Toan Do

Why do firms and banks hold foreign currency denominated liabilities? The authors argue that foreign currency debt, by altering the effect of a devaluation on output, has a disciplining effect when the Central Bank's objectives differ from the social optimum. However, under imperfect information, bad priors about the Central Bank induce excess dollarization of liabilities, which in turn limits the ability of the Central Bank to conduct an optimal monetary policy. In addition the economy may become stuck in a"dollarization trap"in which dollarized liabilities limit the ability of agents to learn the true type of the monetary authority. The model has clear-cut policy implications regarding the taxation of foreign currency liabilities as a way to encourage perfect information and avoid dollarization traps. Moreover, it reinforces the existing argument for Central Bank independence. Finally, the authors believe this model to be consistent with a growing empirical literature on the determinants of foreign currency liabilities and their relationships to Central Bank credibility.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3082.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3082
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  1. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "A new database on financial development and structure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2146, The World Bank.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2001. "Currency crises and monetary policy in an economy with credit constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1121-1150.
  3. Carlos O. Arteta, 2002. "Exchange rate regimes and financial dollarization: does flexibility reduce bank currency mismatches?," International Finance Discussion Papers 738, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Arteta, Carlos, 2002. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Financial Dollarization: Does Flexibility Reduce Bank Currency Mismatches?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9jb1p0jg, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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