FLOATING WITH A LARGE LIFE JACKET: MONETARY AND EXCHANGE RATE POLICIES IN CROATIA UNDER DOLLARIZATION
Even after more than a decade of low inflation, Croatia remains highly dollarized. Commercial banks avoid currency mismatch by indexing loans to the exchange rate. Although this eliminates direct currency risk, it creates credit risk, because any larger depreciation might induce borrower defaults. Monetary and exchange rate policies focus on exchange rate smoothing to safeguard financial stability. Dollarization has prevented the use of monetary policy to stabilize output. Given Croatia's likely entry into the EU and adoption of the Euro, dedollarization seems unfeasible. Rather than attempting to reverse dollarization, the central bank has taken measures to make the banking system more robust to shocks. (JEL "E52, E58, F31, G21, P24") Copyright 2006 Western Economic Association International.
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