Asymmetric monetary and exchange-rate policies in Latin American countries that use inflation targeting

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Asymmetric monetary and exchange-rate policies in Latin American countries that use inflation targeting

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In recent decades, Latin American countries have adopted more flexible exchange-rate regimes and set inflation targets. Several authors argue that some countries’ monetary and exchange-rate policies suffer from a procyclical bias, whereby central banks are reluctant to reduce interest rates when inflation falls, but are willing to increase them when inflation edges up. Therefore, the exchange rate tends to appreciate a lot and depreciate little. This paper analyses the asymmetry of the monetary and exchange rate policies of the five largest Latin American countries in which inflation targets are used: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Nonlinear econometric techniques are used to show that there is "fear of floating", except possibly in Chile and Peru, and that the symptoms are more pronounced in Brazil and Mexico.

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