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Capital inflows, fiscal discretion, and exchange rate policy

Authors Cook, David View this author's profile
Devereux, Michael B.
Issue Date 2006
Source European economic review , v. 50, (8), 2006, NOV, p. 1975-1992
Summary Many writers have argued for the benefits of a credible fixed exchange rate (a hard peg) as a commitment device in an open economy. But historically, fixed exchange rates have often been associated with large current account deficits and episodes of `over-borrowing'. This paper develops a model of capital inflows that are linked to the exchange rate regime because of endogenous fiscal policy. The key message of the paper is that a hard peg is undesirable in the absence of commitment in fiscal policy. In face of a credible fixed exchange rate, the fiscal authority subsidizes capital inflows. The economy will engage in inefficiently high international borrowing, and in welfare terms may end up worse off than under capital market autarky. To eliminate the incentive to subsidize borrowing, the monetary authority must follow a flexible exchange rate rule in which capital inflows lead to exchange rate appreciation. If fiscal policy must be financed by money creation rather than direct taxation, then a fixed exchange rate rule may cause both over-borrowing and a subsequent exchange rate crisis. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0014-2921
Language English
Format Article
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