Real Exchange Rate Policy for Economic Development
Working Paper #300
This paper analyzes the role of real exchange rate (RER) policies for promoting economic development. Markets provide a suboptimal amount of investment in sectors characterized by learning spillovers. We argue that a stable and competitive RER policy may correct externalities and other market failures, enabling the development of sectors with a larger contribution to inclusive economic growth. Optimality also requires a system of multiple effective exchange rates, where sectors with negative externalities or with smaller learning spillovers are more heavily taxed. We argue that RER policies must be complemented by traditional industrial policies that increase the elasticity of the aggregate supply to the RER. We also discuss the challenges and trade-offs associated with RER policies, and we describe a variety of instruments that can be used for their implementation.
About the Authors
José Antonio Ocampo
Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University and former Minister of Finance of Colombia
Jose Antonio Ocampo is a Professor of Professional Practice in the School of International and Public Affairs and former Minister of Finance of Colombia. He is also a Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, Professor Ocampo served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and head of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and has held a number of high-level posts in the Government of Colombia, including Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Director of the National Planning Department, and Minister of Agriculture . Professor Ocampo is author or editor of over 30 books and has published over 200 scholarly articles on macroeconomic theory and policy, international financial issues, economic development, international trade, and Colombian and Latin American economic history.
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
Martín Guzmán served as Minister of Economy of the Republic of Argentina (December 2019- July 2022).
He is a Research Scholar at the Columbia University School of Business and Director of the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Program of Columbia’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue. He is the executive director of the academic training program supported by the Institute for New Economic Thinking chaired by Professor Joseph Stiglitz at Columbia University Business School. He is a professor of Money, Credit, and Banking at the National University of La Plata. He has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Globalization and Development and is a member of the editorial board.
He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican and a member of the Scientific Board of the Trento Summer School in Adaptive Economic Dynamics at the University of Trento, Italy.
He holds a PhD. In Economics from Brown University, United States (2013). Prior to his doctoral studies, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (2005) and a Master’s degree in Economics (2007) from the National University of La Plata, Argentina.
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
Joseph E. Stiglitz is President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.