The Limits Of Macroeconomic Policy: The Case Of Argentina

Argentina’s Economic Progress from 1900 to Present Day

It is the desire of every country to see its economy shining in the global markets. However to achieve this objectives, a lot of dedication must get into play bearing in mind that global markets keeps on fluctuating. At one point, a country’s economy may be flourishing while in other times under gloom. This calls for strategies especially when making decisions regarding economics. To adjust economic growth, approaches such as currency devaluation, use of policies are being used today. This paper scrutinizes some of the challenges facing global economies and presents some approaches being used to adjust them as well as their consequences.

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In the case study of Argentina and its limits to macroeconomic policy, we have presented with the economic progress of Argentina from the year 1900 to where it stands to date. What comes out clear from this case study is that, wherever we see different economies stand at the moment should not be taken for granted because it takes a lot of ups and downs. For instance, we are taken through the economic journey of Argentina where it begins when it’s among the richest countries in the world but at the mid-century its per capita income falls behind. This has been associated with the debt crisis in Latin America and the Lost Decade of 1980s. From the two incidences, it comes out clear that a decline in another country’s economy can be of much impact to another country especially if they are trading partners.

Also, we get to understand that fixing the country’s currency to the global and restriction of money creation can be a superb way of restoring a deteriorating economy. Through this approach, we witness the economy of Argentina getting back to its past glory with low inflation. We continue to witness the impacts of economy deterioration of trading partners of any country however from the similar case to that of debt crisis of Latin America when Brazil’s currency devalues following the fallout of global crisis in East Asia. This incidence disadvantages the Argentine economy because its exports which were valued in pesos became too expensive in its trading partner, Brazil, hence affecting its markets. The economy of Argentina was negatively affected by this incidence and continues to be a dilemma up to date.

Just from the case of currency devaluation we witness in Argentina and how it impacted the country’s trading deals with Brazil, it is without any reasonable doubt that currency devaluation whether intentional or not can be very risky to an economy (Dreger, Kholodilin, Ulbricht & Fidrmuc, 2016). First of all, it reduces the purchasing power of the country’s citizens abroad. This means that any firm, organization or a company which operates on any imported goods stands at the receiving end of the consequences. This is because those goods becomes very expensive and will in turn affect the firm’s profitability. On the same note, when those goods or raw materials are imported at such escalated prices, this also affects the prices of the finished goods locally (Eme, Chukwurah & Iheanacho, 2015). As a result of high prices, if local consumers have alternative to those products and which don’t rely on imported raw materials will divert to the alternatives because obviously they will be cheaper. This has a huge impact on the firm because it implies lack of enough market for its products.

The 1991 Currency Board Experiment and Its Success

Also, if the country or local consumers have debts like loans and mortgages in terms of the foreign currency. After the devaluation, the cost of debt repayments will obviously rise. In the case of country’s debt, this becomes a burden to its citizens because taxes must be increased to cater for the risen cost of debts (Furtado, 2018). On the case of individual debts, it becomes an added burden because the interest rates are likely to increase while the repayment period remains constant. Increased taxations in a country are an indication that the country’s economy is fairing badly and the standards of living deteriorates (Aysan, Fendo?lu & Kilinc, 2015)

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In a case where the devaluation is large and rapid, international investors are scared off because the trend makes them less willing to hold government debts which they are likely to reduce the value of their holdings. An economy without investors is an economy down because investors create job opportunities in a country (Farhi & Werning, 2014). Through the creation of employment to the local citizens, the standards of living in a country rises and that encourages economic growth.

It is without reasonable doubt that many economies currently run under account deficits. People react to this fact with both doom and gloom; others associate it with foreign governments not playing fair in global markets. Still there are those who argue that account deficits means that citizens are living beyond their means and hence accumulating too much debts. Account deficit pros and cons can be perceived in different sectors of an economy as below (Galí, 2015).

A country operating under current account deficit has an advantage of getting high money supply especially from foreign borrowing which enables it have a high growth rate and productivity. In special cases, this leads to growth booms. The country experiences periods of high exports owing to the devaluation of its domestic currency against the foreign currency. On the other hand, imports decreases owing to the increase in import duties and which is done by the RBI to narrow down the CAD (Höpner & Spielau, 2018). The country will also witness infrastructural development due to capital investment of foreign entities. These and others indicate the bright side of a country under current account deficit.

Contrally to the above, a country experiencing account deficits persistently is likely to undergo negative consequences that affect its growth and stability. The trend of imports having more demand than the exports leads to loss of domestic jobs. So, unemployment is among the cons of account deficits. On the other hand, considering the fact that a country’s export demands has impacts on its currency value, as export demands fall as compared to imports, the currency value declines. A decline in currency will scare away investors and encourage inflation hence a con to the economy (Martinoty, 2015).

Challenges Faced by Argentina in the Late 1990s

From the case study, Argentina’s current economic crisis is caused by volatile capital flows. This is in consideration to the few crises which hit the economy of this country and whose origin has been traced from the external markets, the markets conducting trade deals with it. In its first economic deterioration at the mid-century when its per capita income falls behind, it has been associated with the debt crisis in Latin America and the Lost Decade of 1980s (Mishkin, 2017). Again, in its second incidence, similar case to that of debt crisis of Latin America is witnessed when Brazil’s currency devalues following the fallout of global crisis in East Asia disadvantaging the country’s economy because its exports which were valued in pesos became too expensive in its main trading partner, Brazil, hence affecting its markets.

From the case study of Argentina, it is clear that expansionary macroeconomic policies usage in developing countries is deemed to fail. This is in consideration to the fact that these countries are in their process of growth and would require partnership with other developed countries to be able to grow (Peksen & Son, 2015). Adopting some of these policies is likely to bring about currency devaluation and that’s the point when the rain starts beating such economies. This is because currency devaluation comes with a lot of disadvantages for the country including the scaring of foreign investors who are very important for growth of a small economy.


Right from the case study of Argentina scrutinized at the start of this paper to some of the concepts which have been discussed in the paper. It comes out clearly that economic growth is a challenging venture which calls for much attention and carefulness lest some decisions takes the economy on an opposite decision from what they were expected . Again, economic situations as seen from the current account deficit scenario may have both advantages and disadvantages. This is where some economies may get it wrong especially if they consider the bright side only.

From the study, there are several lessons learned from the discussion. Above them, it’s the importance of sound decisions in economic ventures as this will act as the pillar for the economy to grow. Sound decisions in this case imply adequate scrutiny of both sides of the coin before settling for a decision. For that matter, I recommend economic experts to be keen especially when making economic decisions because it’s a hit or miss scenario.


Aysan, A. F., Fendo?lu, S., & Kilinc, M. (2015). Macroprudential policies as buffer against volatile cross-border capital flows. The Singapore Economic Review, 60(01), 1550001.

Dreger, C., Kholodilin, K. A., Ulbricht, D., & Fidrmuc, J. (2016). Between the hammer and the anvil: The impact of economic sanctions and oil prices on Russia’s ruble. Journal of Comparative Economics, 44(2), 295-308.

Eme, O. I., Chukwurah, D. C., & Iheanacho, E. N. (2015). An analysis of pros and cons treasury single account Policy in Nigeria. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review (OMAN Chapter), 5(4), 20.

Furtado, C. (2018). Economic Development of Latin America. In Promise Of Development (pp.124-148). Routledge.

Farhi, E., & Werning, I. (2014). Dilemma not trilemma? Capital controls and exchange rates with volatile capital flows. IMF Economic Review, 62(4), 569-605.

Galí, J. (2015). Monetary policy, inflation, and the business cycle: an introduction to the new Keynesian framework and its applications. Princeton University Press.

Höpner, M., & Spielau, A. (2018). Better Than the Euro? The European Monetary System (1979–1998). New Political Economy, 23(2), 160-173.

Martinoty, L. (2015). Intra-Household Coping Mechanisms in Hard Times: the Added Worker Effect in the 2001 Argentine Economic Crisis.

Mishkin, F. S. (2017). Making Discretion in Monetary Policy More Rule-Like (No. w24135). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Peksen, D., & Son, B. (2015). Economic coercion and currency crises in target countries. Journal of Peace Research, 52(4), 448-462.