The openness-inflation puzzle revisited
Dynamic panel estimates show the negative relation between trade openness and inflation found by Romer (1993) but questioned by Terra (1998) became more robust in the 1990s, both among high income OECD and developing countries. Also during the 1990s, openness was associated with less variable inflation and had a stronger disinflation effect in economies with floating exchange rates.
Does the choice of nominal anchor matter?
The conventional wisdom on nominal anchors is that exchange rate-based inflation stabilizations lead to economic booms while monetary-based stabilizations lead to recessions. This study finds strong evidence against this view. Rather than determining the path of economic growth, the choice of nominal anchor appears to be endogenously determined by the state of the economy. To peg or manage the exchange rate, a high level of international reserves is important, especially when a government's credibility is low after a period of high inflation. After controlling for the level of ...
Dollarization and monetary unions: implementation guidelines
Economic Research Working Paper 0105
Did NAFTA really cause Mexico's high maquiladora growth?
Although Mexico's maquiladora or in-bond plant system is an important and well-recognized component of Mexico-U.S. trade, the connection between the acceleration in maquiladora growth and NAFTA is less clearly understood. A broad cross-section of maquiladora observers - including journalists, political activists, industry analysts, and professors -- argue that Mexico's maquiladoras have been strongly influenced by NAFTA and have grown rapidly as a result. There are reasons to wonder if these conjectures are correct. I test for the contribution of NAFTA to fluctuations in maquiladora ...
Currency competition and inflation convergence
All agree partial dollarization or currency substitution is a legacy of past inflation and exchange rate instability. Some argue partial dollarization contributes to exchange rate instability. However, if Central Banks respond to dollarization by lowering money growth and maximizing seigniorage revenue, inflation falls and converges on dollar inflation rates. We present a simple model of currency competition with open capital markets to illustrate these points. Empirical tests for Latin America and about twenty other countries suggest that dollarization is both a legacy of past inflation and ...
Is tighter fiscal policy expansionary under fiscal dominance? Hypercrowding out in Latin America
We test for hypercrowding out as a signal of market concerns over fiscal dominance in five Latin American countries. Hypercrowding out occurs when fiscally dominated governments domestic credit demands are perceived as so intrusive to a nations financial system that a move towards fiscal surplus lowers interest rates and increases growth. We sample five Latin American countries to test for these relationships. Judged by the results of vector error correction models, three nations test clearly positive, suggesting market concern despite their recent efforts towards fiscal balance.
Privatization, competition, and supercompetition in the Mexican commercial banking system
Economic Research Working Paper 9904
Financial crises and total factor productivity
Total factor productivity (TFP) falls markedly during financial crises, as we document with recent evidence from Mexico and Asia. These falls are unusual in magnitude and present a difficult challenge for the standard small open economy neoclassical model. We show in the case of Mexicos 1994-95 crisis that the model predicts that inputs and output should have fallen much more than they did. Using models with endogenous factor utilization, we find that capital utilization and labor hoarding can account for a large fraction of the TFP fall during the crisis. However, these models also predict ...
The implications of capital-skill complementarity in economies with large informal sectors
In most developing nations, formal workers tend to be more experienced, more educated, and earn more than informal workers. These facts are often interpreted as evidence that low-skill workers face barriers to entry into the formal sector. Yet, there exists little direct evidence that such barriers are important. This paper describes a model where significant differences arise between formal and informal workers even though labor markets are perfectly competitive. In equilibrium, the informal sector emphasizes low-skill work because informal managers have access to less outside financing, and ...
Banking and finance in Argentina in the period 1900-35
From 1900 to 1935, Argentina evolved from an economy highly dependent on external, primarily British, finance to one more nearly self-sufficient. We examine the failure of domestic finance to adequately fill the void left by the decline of London and the breakdown of the world financial system in the interwar period, when neither the Buenos Aires Bolsa nor the private domestic banks developed rapidly enough to fully replace British investors as efficient channels for financing private investment. One consequence is that Argentine investable funds were increasingly concentrated in a single ...