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International Finance Discussion Papers
The International Finance Discussion Papers logo links to the International Finance Discussion Papers home page Contractionary Devaluation with Black Markets for Foreign Exchange
Steven B. Kamin
1990-370  (January 1990)

Abstract:  Analyses of the possible contractionary effects of exchange rate devaluation typically assume the foreign exchange market to be unified, thereby ignoring the large fraction of transactions taking place in the black market for foreign exchange that exist in many developing countries. This paper explores how the existence of these black markets may alter the impact of an official devaluation on aggregate output. It is argued that devaluations will be followed by less immediate contraction in a black­market economy than in a unified-market economy, both because the black market exchange rate will depreciate by less than the official rate, and because many of the devaluation's contractionary effects will occur in anticipation of the official devaluation itself. These propositions are tested using a simple numerical simulation model.

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