Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ed Dolan on Latvia vs the Czech Republic

Exchange rates matter writes Ed Dolan (Ed Dolan’s Econ Blog). Excerpt:

“When the crisis hit, the koruna depreciated as quickly as it had earlier strengthened, quickly restoring competitiveness. The recession in the Czech Republic was among the mildest in the EU.

The effects of the crisis on Latvia were entirely different. Without a devaluation, the only way Latvia could restore competitiveness was through deflation of prices and wages. This strategy, often called "internal devaluation," has been extremely painful. The unemployment rate has soared to 22 percent as prices and wages fall. Meanwhile, unemployment in the Czech Republic has risen only slightly and has remained below the EU average throughout the crisis.”

Read the whole paper here and have a look at the slides.

Hat tip: Tyler Cowen (Marginal Revolution).

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