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.
The currency board arrangement and widespread dollarization of the Argentine economy since 1991 have laid the basis for domestic interest rates to converge to international levels. Although such a convergence has been observed for interest rates on bank deposits, interest rates on bank lending remain well above industrial country levels. This paper examines the causes of high intermediation spreads in Argentina using a dual currency model of the banking industry, which incorporates key features of credit markets in that country. Empirical results allow inferences to be drawn on the effects of macroeconomic and financial policies on bank lending and interest rates.