December 1999 (Revised July 2002)

Sources of Economic Fluctuations in Latin America and Implications for Choice of Exchange Rate Regimes

Shaghil Ahmed


This paper studies the sources of economic fluctuations and their implications for exchange rate regime choice in key Latin American countries. In general, external shocks play a limited role in driving output fluctuations in these countries; this absence of common business cycles undermines the case for fixed exchange rates. On the other hand, although there is some evidence that real exchange rates depreciate in response to adverse external shocks, this depreciation, in turn, tends to contract output in the short run. This suggests that exchange rate rigidity may not be as costly for these economies as conventional economic theory predicts.

Original version (PDF)

Keywords: Economic fluctuations, exchange rate regimes, Latin America, dollarization

PDF: Full Paper

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