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Complementary Currencies and Liquidity: The Case of Coca-Base Money
In coca-growing villages of Colombia, where pesos are scarce, coca-base is not only used as the main input for cocaine production—it also acts as a complementary currency (CC), circulating locally as a medium of exchange for day-to-day transactions. This paper provides a clear rationale for the economically-motivated adoption of a CC in a small open economy underprovided with official currency. An equilibrium currency shortage arises endogenously in our model, whereby shocks to the local supply of currency have a real impact on local trade and welfare. We show how a CC can mitigate the ...
The Economic Impact of COVID-19 around the World
This article provides an account of the worldwide economic impact of the COVID-19 shock. In 2020, it severely impacted output growth and employment, particularly in middle-income countries. Governments responded primarily by increasing expenditure, supported by an expansion of the supply of money and debt. These policies did not put upward pressure on prices until 2021. International trade was severely disrupted across all regions in 2020 but subsequently recovered. For 2021, we find that the adverse effects of the COVID-19 shock on output and prices were significant and persistent, ...
Managing a New Policy Framework: Paul Volcker, the St. Louis Fed, and the 1979-82 War on Inflation
In October 1979, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker persuaded his FOMC colleagues to adopt a new policy framework that i) accepted responsibility for controlling inflation and ii) implemented new operating procedures to control the growth of monetary aggregates in an effort to restore price stability. These moves were strongly supported by monetarist-oriented economists, including the leadership and staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The next three years saw inflation peak and then fall sharply, but also two recessions and considerable volatility in interest rates and money ...
Jargon Alert on the Money Supply