The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
There is little empirical research on whether Balassa-Samuelson effects can explain the long-run behavior of real exchange rates in developing countries. This paper presents new evidence on this issue based on a panel data sample of 16 developing countries. The paper finds that the traded-nontraded productivity differential is a significant determinant of the relative price of nontraded goods, and the relative price in turn exerts a significant effect on the real exchange rate. The terms of trade also influence the real exchange rate. These results provide strong verification of Balassa-Samuelson effects for developing countries.