Western Hemisphere > Chile

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Francesca G Caselli, Matilde Faralli, Paolo Manasse, and Ugo Panizza
This paper studies whether countries benefit from servicing their debts during times of widespread sovereign defaults. Colombia is typically regarded as the only large Latin American country that did not default in the 1980s. Using archival research and formal econometric estimates of Colombia's probability of default, we show that in the early 1980s Colombia's fundamentals were not significantly different from those of the Latin American countries that defaulted on their debts. We also document that the different path chosen by Colombia was due to the authorities' belief that maintaining a good reputation in the international capital market would have substantial long-term payoffs. We show that the case of Colombia is more complex than what it is commonly assumed. Although Colombia had to re-profile its debts, high-level political support from the US allowed Colombia do to so outside the standard framework of an IMF program. Our counterfactual analysis shows that in the short to medium run, Colombia benefitted from avoiding an explicit default. Specifically, we find that GDP growth in the 1980s was higher than that of a counterfactual in which Colombia behaved like its neighboring countries. We also test whether Colombia's behavior in the 1980s led to long-term reputational benefits. Using an event study based on a large sudden stop, we find no evidence for such long-lasting reputational gains.
Marcin Pietrzak
This paper shows how the role of Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs) in financial surveillance can be usefully enhanced. Drawing from different statistical techniques, the paper illustrates that FSIs generate signals that can accurately detect, with 4 to 12 quarters lead, emerging financial distress—as measured by tight financial conditions.
Elías Albagli, Mauricio Calani, Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov, Mario Marcel, and Mr. Luca A Ricci
Chile offers an example of a country that has overcome the fear of floating by reducing balance sheet mismatches, enhancing financial market development, as well as improving monetary, fiscal, and political institutions, and strengthening policy credibility. Under the floating regime, Chile’s economic adjustment to external shocks appears significantly improved, and its exchange rate pass-through has substantially declined. Our results reinforce the case that moving to a clear and credible floating regime can be associated with a reduction in the fear of floating via economic transformation (like smaller balance sheet mismatches, a larger hedging market, and a lower exchange rate pass-through).
Meghana Ayyagari, Thorsten Beck, and Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria
Combining balance sheet data on 900,000 firms from 48 countries with information on the adoption of macroprudential policies during 2003-2011, we find that these policies are associated with lower credit growth. These effects are especially significant for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and young firms that, according to the literature, are more financially constrained and bank dependent. Among MSMEs and young firms, those with weaker balance sheets exhibit lower credit growth in conjunction with the adoption of macroprudential policies, suggesting that these policies can enhance financial stability. Finally, our results show that macroprudential policies have real effects, as they are associated with lower investment and sales growth.
Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan
This paper documents the evolution of gross and net capital flows to emerging market economies and surveys the large literature on the potential drivers. While the capital flow landscape has been shaped by the evolution of both global and country-specific factors, the relative importance of these factors has varied over time and differs depending on the type of capital flows. The findings from the survey of the literature thus underscores the importance of policies in both source and recipient countries in shaping capital flows.
Mr. Luis Catão, Valeriya Dinger, and Daniel Marcel te Kaat
Using a sample of over 700 banks in Latin America, we show that international financial liberalization lowers bank capital ratios and increases the shares of short-term funding. Following liberalization, large banks substitute interbank borrowing for equity and long-term funding, whereas small banks increase the proportions of retail funding in their liabilities, which have been particularly vulnerable to flight-to-quality during periods of financial distress in much of Latin America. We also find evidence that riskier bank funding in the aftermath of financial liberalizations is exacerbated by asymmetric information, which rises on geographical distance and the opacity of balance sheets.