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The balance of payments and borrowing constraints: An alternative view of the Mexican crisis

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  • Atkeson, Andrew
  • Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor

Abstract

In standard models of the balance of payments, crises occur when investors begin to doubt the credibility of the government's commitment to its exchange rate policy. In this paper, we develop an alternative model in which balance of payments crises occur even if the credibility of government fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies is never in doubt. In this alternative model, international lending is constrained by the risk of repudiation. Balance of payments crises occur when the government and citizens of a country hit their international borrowing constraints. Our model is broadly consistent with events in Mexico from 1987-1995. More generally, our model suggests that countries which undertake sweeping macroeconomic and structural reforms should expect to face a balance of payments crisis when they exhaust their access to international capital inflows.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (November)
Pages: 331-349

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:41:y:1996:i:3-4:p:331-349

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. Jeffrey Sachs & Aaron Tornell & Andres Velasco, 1995. "The Collapse of the Mexican Peso: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 5142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 5131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
  4. Sergio Rebelo & Carlos A. Vegh, 1995. "Real Effects of Exchange Rate-Based Stabilization: An Analysis of Competing Theories," NBER Working Papers 5197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 5191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Speculative Attack and the External Constraint in a Maximizing Model of the Balance of Payments," NBER Working Papers 1437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "The ends of four big inflations," Working Papers 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Robert P. Flood & Jagdeep S. Bhandari & Pierre-Richard Agénor, 1991. "Speculative Attacks and Models of Balance of Payments Crises," IMF Working Papers 91/99, International Monetary Fund.
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