Implications of real exchange rate misalignment in developing countries: Theory, empirical evidence and application to growth performance in Zimbabwe

Thandinkosi Ndhlela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of exchange rate signals in an economy is very powerful and often pervasive. Moreover, sustained real exchange rate overvaluation will, by distorting resource allocation away from productive activities, eventually lead to drastic adjustments of relative prices and reduction of aggregate economic growth. However, the direct theoretical and empirical link between exchange rate misalignment and macroeconomic indicators still remains to be fully understood. Nonetheless, empirical studies continue to make attempts to understand this relationship by exploring relationships that incorporate different measures of exchange rate misalignment in traditional growth regression models. Based on a behavioural equilibrium exchange rate derived measure exchange rate misalignment, this paper presents an empirical analysis of the relationship between real gross domestic product growth and real exchange rate misalignment for Zimbabwe. After controlling for other structural and policy variables, the main findings demonstrate that exchange rate misalignment exerts a negative and highly statistically significant impact on growth. Overall, the results lend support to the hypothesis that chronic real exchange rate overvaluation was a key fundamental behind the post-2000 economic growth contraction in Zimbabwe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319 - 344
Number of pages26
JournalSouth African Journal of Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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