Dollarization: Analytical Issues

25 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2002 Last revised: 25 Feb 2021

See all articles by Roberto Chang

Roberto Chang

Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway - Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick/Piscataway - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrés Velasco

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

This paper discusses major analytical aspects of dollarization and their practical implications. We develop a simple model to stress that dollarization implies the loss of independent monetary policy and of seigniorage, yet the significance of such losses can only be evaluated in conjunction with assumptions about the policymaking process. If the government is benevolent and has no credibility problems, dollarization causes a fall in welfare, which can be measured by the implied seigniorage loss or using Mundellian optimal currency area criteria. However, outcomes are rather different if credibility is absent and dollarization can serve as a commitment device: the welfare impact of dollarization is ambiguous, and seigniorage measures and Mundellian criteria may be misleading indicators of the true cost of dollarization. We also evaluate other implications of dollarization, such as those related to last resort lending and financial stability.

Suggested Citation

Chang, Roberto and Velasco, Andrés, Dollarization: Analytical Issues (March 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w8838, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305061

Roberto Chang

Rutgers University, New Brunswick/Piscataway - Faculty of Arts and Sciences-New Brunswick/Piscataway - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrés Velasco (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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