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Evaluating Dollarisation as an Economic Solution

  • Published
    28th Nov, 2023

Javier Milei, Argentina's newly elected president, has proposed replacing the peso with the dollar as a potential solution to the country's economic woes. This unconventional move raises questions about the feasibility and consequences of dollarisation.


About Javier Milei's Economic Agenda

  • Milei, an "anarchocapitalist," campaigned on radical economic proposals, including dollarisation, eliminating the Central Bank, and slashing government spending.
    • Despite electoral support, Milei has begun backtracking on immediate implementation, citing dollarisation as a "mediumterm" goal, raising doubts about the practicality of such a shift.

Dollarisation refers to the adoption of a foreign currency, typically the United States Dollar (USD), as the official currency of a country, replacing or coexisting with the national currency. It entails using the foreign currency for transactions, pricing, and as a store of value.

Dollarisation as a Solution

  • Dollarisation can break the link between hyperinflation and rising money supply, curbing the influence of political interests on economic stability.
  • Positive effects include incentivizing exportfocused growth and providing stability for longterm economic planning.

Challenges and Potential Problems

  • Dollarisation limits policy leverage, especially in monetary policy, preventing countries from using depreciation to boost exports.
  • Critics argue that it may lead to a loss of control over economic tools, requiring a shift towards productivitydriven strategies during downturns.

Ecuador's Experience with Dollarisation

  • Ecuador's adoption of the dollar in 2000 resulted in economic growth, reduced poverty, and improved income equality.
  • However, success was not solely attributed to dollarisation; external factors like oil and gas reserves played a crucial role.

The Role of Policy in Economic Prosperity

  • Ecuador's fiscal policies, including increased government spending, played a vital role in sustaining economic growth.
  • While dollarisation tackled inflation, active fiscal policy was necessary for longterm success.

Dangers of Adopting an External Currency

  • The Greek example highlights the risks of adopting an external currency without independent policy tools, as seen during the Eurozone crisis.
  • Dollarisation, while beneficial, is not a guaranteed solution and requires careful domestic policy management.
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