Devaluation Risk and the Syndrome of Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations
This paper shows that the risk of devaluation can be an important factor accounting for the stylized facts of exchange-rate-based stabilizations. This conclusion follows from studying the quantitative implications of a two-sector equilibrium business cycle model of a small open economy calibrated to Mexico's 1987-1994 stabilization plan. In the model a time-variant interest rate differential that acts as a stochastic tax on money demand, labor supply, investment, and saving. Under incomplete markets, this tax induces endogenous state-contingent wealth effects via fiscal adjustment and suboptimal investment. Devaluation risk entails large welfare costs in this environment.