Argentina, Mexico, and currency boards: another case of rules versus discretion
This article discusses currency boards in light of the recent economic experiences of Mexico and Argentina. Carlos Zarazaga argues that currency boards do not solve the important time inconsistency problem pointed out in the rules-versus-discretion literature. Because of this failure, even the quasi-currency board established by law (the so-called convertibility law) did not protect Argentina from one of its most severe financial crises in modern times. ; In addition, there is the normative issue of whether an ironclad rule such as a currency board rule is superior to a noncontingent one. ...
What can we learn from the current crisis in Argentina?
Currently, Argentina is experiencing what the government describes as a "great depression." Using the "Great Depressions" methodology developed by Cole and Ohanian (1999) and Kehoe and Prescott (2002), we find that the primary determinants of both the boom in Argentina in the 1990s and the subsequent depression were changes in productivity, rather than changes in factor inputs. The timing of events links the boom to the currency-board-like Convertibility Plan and the crisis to its collapse. To gain credibility, the Argentine government took measures to make abandoning the plan more ...
Learning from Argentina's crisis
Gaucho banking redux
Argentina's economic crisis has strong similarities with previous crises stretching back to the nineteenth century. A common thread runs through all these crises: the interaction of a weak, undisciplined, or corruptible banking sector, and some other group of conspirators from the public or private sector that hasten its collapse. This pampean propensity for crony finance was dubbed "gaucho banking" more than one hundred years ago. What happens when such a rotten structure interacts with a convertibility plan? We compare the 1929 and 2001 crises-the two instances where rigid convertibility ...
Economic growth in Argentina in the period 1900-30: some evidence from stock returns
This paper reports the first stage of a project to recover Argentine stock market data for the entire 20th century. The authors find that real rates of return on Argentine stocks and bonds after 1920 were above those in the Belle poque, and that they were consistent with the view that in the postwar period Argentina remained firmly integrated with international financial markets.
Economic reorganization as a prerequisite to growth
Politics of deposit insurance reform: the case of Argentina