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Financial dollarization, monetary policy stance and institutional structure : the experience of Latin America and Turkey

Uzun, Arzu
Financial dollarization, defined as the substantial presence of foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities in the balance sheets of the main sectors of an economy, is a widespread phenomenon among developing economies, especially in Latin America and Turkey. Since financial dollarization often causes financial fragility and limits the effectiveness of monetary policy, the causes and consequences of it and dedollarization strategies have been placed at the forefront of policy debates especially in developing countries. The purpose of this study is to analyse the determinants of corporate sector asset and liability dollarization in ten Latin American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) and Turkey for the period 1990-2001. To this end, this study considers the effects of monetary policy stance (exchange rate flexibility and adoption of a de facto inflation targeting regime), institutional structure (governance) and macroeconomic stance variables (volatilities of inflation and real effective exchange rates) on financial dollarization. The results based on panel data estimations suggest that high and volatile inflation and depreciation of domestic currency induce a switch to dollar denominated assets and liabilities. Furthermore, exchange rate regime flexibility appears to reduce liability dollarization and encourage asset dollarization. Finally, the empirical analysis supports the hypothesis that adoption of inflation targeting regime and strengthening the institutional structure are significant in decreasing the level of financial dollarization.