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Output Fluctuations in Latin America: What Explains the Recent Slowdown?


  • Santiago Herrera

    (The World Bank)

  • Guillermo Perry

    (The World Bank)

  • Neile Quintero


The object of the paper is to explain Latin America’s growth slowdown experienced in 1998/99. To do so we used two complementary methodologies. The first one aimed at determining how much of the slowdown could be explained by specific external factors, namely, the terms of trade, international interest rates, spreads on external debt, capital flows and climatological factors (El Nino). Using quarterly GDP data for the 8 largest countries of the region, we estimate a dynamic panel that allowed to calculate that between 50% and 60% of the slowdown was due to the role of these external factors. The second approach allows for the role of some endogenous variables, like domestic real interest rates and real exchange rates, to affect output. Using monthly industrial production data, we estimate country-specific Generalized Vector Autoregressions (GVAR) for the largest countries. We found that during the whole sample period (1992-1998) output volatility was mostly associated with shocks to domestic factors, but the slowdown in the sub- period 1998-1999 was explained in more than 60% by the external factors’ shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Santiago Herrera & Guillermo Perry & Neile Quintero, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in Latin America: What Explains the Recent Slowdown?," Macroeconomics 0004012, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004012 Note: Type of Document - Word; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP;

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Cashin & Hong Liang & C. John McDermott, 2000. "How Persistent Are Shocks to World Commodity Prices?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 1-2.
    2. Ahmed, Shaghil, 2003. "Sources of economic fluctuations in Latin America and implications for choice of exchange rate regimes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 181-202, October.
    3. P.R. Agenor & J. Aizenman & A. Hoffmaister, 1998. "Contagion, Bank Lending Spreads and Output Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 6850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Willy W. Hoffmaister & Jorge Roldos, 1997. "Are Business Cycles Different in Asia and Latin America?," IMF Working Papers 97/9, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Steven B. Kamin & Marc Klau, 1997. "Some multi-country evidence on the effects of real exchange rates on output," BIS Working Papers 48, Bank for International Settlements.
    6. Joseph Joyce & Linda Kamas, 1997. "The relative importance of foreign and domestic shocks to output and prices in Mexico and Colombia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(3), pages 458-478, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Calderón, César & Fuentes, J. Rodrigo, 2014. "Have business cycles changed over the last two decades? An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 98-123.

    More about this item


    Terms of trade; spreads on external debt; capital flows; real interest rates; real exchange rates; generalized vector autoregressions (GVAR);

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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