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The distributional consequences of large devaluations

Listed author(s):
  • Javier Cravino
  • Andrei A. Levchenko

We study the differential impact of large exchange rate devaluations on the cost of living at different points on the income distribution. Across product categories, the poor have relatively high expenditure shares in tradeable products. Within tradeable product categories, the poor consume lower-priced varieties. Changes in the relative price of tradeables and the relative prices of lower-priced varieties following a devaluation will affect the cost of the consumption basket of the low-income households relative that of the high-income households. We quantify these effects following the 1994 Mexican peso devaluation and show that their distributional consequences can be large. In the two years that follow the devaluation, the cost of the consumption basket of those in the bottom decile of the income distribution rose between 1.46 and 1.6 times more than the cost of the consumption basket for the top income decile. .

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Paper provided by UBS International Center of Economics in Society - Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series UBSCENTER - Working Papers with number 015.

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Date of creation: Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:zur:uceswp:015
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  1. Marina Halac & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2004. "Distributional Effects of Crises: The Financial Channel," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2004), pages 1-67, August.
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  15. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
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