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The impact of conflict on the exchange rate of developing economies

Nektarios Michail

Review of Development Economics, 2021, vol. 25, issue 2, 916-930

Abstract: This paper explores the impact different types of conflict have on the nominal exchange rate (NER), using a panel of developing economies. Accounting for NER determinants, the evidence suggests that in addition to the depreciation caused by macroeconomic factors, intra‐state (civil) wars have a strong and significant depreciative impact on the exchange rate. In contrast, international wars do not appear to have any excess effect. A potential explanation of this phenomenon is that, unlike international wars where winners and losers are more difficult to distinguish a priori, in civil wars the country is much more likely to face economic deterioration, therefore promoting an over‐discounting effect. The findings provide insights for both investors and policymakers given that exchange rate devaluation can likely provide a negative feedback mechanism to the local economy, especially if they hold foreign currency debt. The depreciation could also potentially have strong effects on the long‐run growth potential, considering that most developing economies rely on imports of capital goods for research and development purposes.

Date: 2021
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