Net Foreign Assets, Productivity and Real Exchange Rates in Constrained Economies
36 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2009
Date Written: September 1, 2008
Empirical evidence suggests that real exchange rates (RER) behave differently in developed and developing countries. We develop an exogenous 2-sector growth model in which RER determination depends on the country's capacity to borrow from international capital markets. The country faces a constraint on capital inflows. With high domestic savings, the country converges to the world per capita income and RER only depends on productivity spread between sectors (Balassa-Samuelson effect). If the constraint is too tight and/or domestic savings too low, RER depends on both net foreign assets (transfer effect) and productivity. We then analyze the empirical implications of the model and find that, in accordance with the theory, RER is mainly driven by productivity and net foreign assets in constrained countries and exclusively by productivity in unconstrained countries.
Keywords: Real exchange rate, capital inflows constraint, overlapping generations
JEL Classification: E39, F32, F41
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