The Reversal of Dollarization is altogether an Economic and Cultural Process

President Miguel Ángel Pesce opened the BCRA’s Seminars on Economics where he remarked: “although we admit that the origin and persistence of dollarization are rooted in economic motivations, its reversal embodies sociological and cultural aspects”.

The BCRA’s traditional cycle of seminars, which had been interrupted by the Covid pandemic, was relaunched in virtual format. Ariel Wilkis—researcher of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and Dean of IDAES—was the guest speaker and presented his work: Socio-history of the dollar “popularization” in Argentina. The BCRA’s President highlighted Wilkis’ research as one of the most comprehensive works on the subject and insisted that: “the dollarization process clearly stems from, and is sustained over time by, economic problems, its reversal calling for key decisions with a bearing on social aspects which should be carefully considered.”

In turn, Germán Feldman, chief economist of the BCRA, referred to the return of this cycle of seminars. “Within the framework of the relaunch of seminars—a tradition in the Economic Research area—we seek to stimulate discussion among interdisciplinary researchers and foster dialogue among different scientific disciplines like, in this case, economic sociology”.

Wilkis, in his speech, presented on the tools of the economic sociology for restoring the US dollar popularization in the Argentine society between mid-20th century and the first decades of the 21th century. The purpose of his work is to identify the characteristic features and dynamics of this process that give political, social, cultural and economic centrality to the US currency.

On the same vein, the BCRA shared in its blog, Central de Ideas, a post making clear the institutional position on this subject, which had already been presented in the last Monetary Policy Report (IPOM, November 2020). The institutional position takes up the relationship between culture and economy to explain the reason why most Argentine families and domestic companies are lured into having their reserve assets in foreign currency, making allowances for the context of macro-financial uncertainty that has marked the economic history of our country.

These seminars, the relaunch of Ensayos Económicos, Money and Banking Conferences, as well as the "Dr. Raúl Prebisch" Economic Research Award are part of the BCRA's active policy to recover its academic profile in the context of its 85th anniversary.

December de 2020.

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