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Abstract

This paper analyzes empirically the role of financial market imperfections in the way countries’ exports react to a currency depreciation. Using quarterly data for 27 developed and developing countries over the period 1990–2005, we find that the impact of a depreciation on exports will be less positive—or even negative—for a country if: (i) firms borrow in foreign currency; (ii) they are credit constrained; (iii) they are specialized in industries that require more external capital; (iv) the magnitude of depreciation or devaluation is large. This last result emphasizes the existence of a nonlinear relationship between an exchange rate depreciation and the reaction of a country's exports when financial imperfections are observed. This offers a new explanation for the consequences of recent currency crises in middle-income countries.

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