Policy Responses to Aid Surges in Countries with Limited International Capital Mobility
The Role of the Exchange Rate Regime
We study the role of the exchange rate regime, reserve accumulation, and sterilization policies in the macroeconomics of aid surges. Absent sterilization, a peg allows for almost full aid absorption—an increase in the current account deficit net of aid—delivering the same effects as those of a flexible regime but with a necessary increase in inflation. Regardless of the regime, policies that limit absorption and result in large accumulation of reserves—are welfare reducing: they help reduce the real appreciation (and inflation under the peg), but at the expense of reducing private consumption and investment, and therefore medium-term growth.