Exchange rate overvaluation under hyperinflation: The case of Peru

Rafael Amiel-Saenz, Florida International University

Abstract

This dissertation examines the behavior of the exchange rate under two different scenarios. The first one is characterized by, relatively, low inflation or a situation where prices adjust sluggishly. The second is a high inflation economy where prices respond very rapidly even to unanticipated shocks. In the first one, following a monetary expansion, the exchange rate overshoots, i.e. the nominal exchange rate depreciates at a faster pace than the price level. Under high levels of inflation, prices change faster than the exchange rate so the exchange rate undershoots its long run equilibrium value.^ The standard work in this area, Dornbusch (1976), explains the overshooting process in the context of perfect capital mobility and sluggish adjustment in the goods market. A monetary expansion will make the exchange rate increase beyond its long run equilibrium value. This dissertation expands on Dornbusch's model and provides an analysis of the exchange rate under conditions of currency substitution and price flexibility, characteristics of the Peruvian economy during the hyper inflation process that took place at the end of the 1980's. The results of the modified Dornbusch model reveal that, given a monetary expansion, the change in the price level will be larger than the change in the exchange rate if prices react more than proportionally to the monetary shock.^ We will expect this over-reaction in circumstances of high inflation when the velocity of money is increasing very rapidly. Increasing velocity of money, gives rise to a higher relative price variability which in turn contributes to the appearance of new financial (and also non-financial) instruments that report a higher return than the exchange rate, causing people to switch their demand for foreign exchange to this new assets. In the context of currency substitution, economic agents hoard and use foreign exchange as a store of value. The big decline in output originated by hyper inflation induces people to sell this hoarded money to finance current expenses, increasing the supply of foreign exchange in the market. Both, the decrease in demand and the increase in supply reduce the price of foreign exchange i.e. the real exchange rate. The findings mentioned above are tested using Peruvian data for the period January 1985-July 1990, the results of the econometric estimation confirm our findings in the theoretical model. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General

Recommended Citation

Rafael Amiel-Saenz, "Exchange rate overvaluation under hyperinflation: The case of Peru" (January 1, 1996). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI9717839.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9717839

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