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Speculative attacks and defenses as wars of attrition

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  • Grier, Kevin
  • Lin, Shu

Abstract

This paper extends the currency crisis models in Obstfeld [Obstfeld, M., 1994. The logic of currency crises. Cahiers Economiques et Monetaries], [Obstfeld, M., 1996. Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features. European Economic Review 40, 1037-1047] by modeling both the government's side and speculators' side and introducing uncertainty about each party's payoff. We argue that a speculative attack (defense) can be well modeled as a war of attrition between the government and speculators under asymmetric information. We then solve for a pure strategy, weakly perfect, Bayesian rational expectation equilibrium in which each party's time until concession depends on her benefits from winning and her costs of fighting. Using this model, we are able to explain important facts of currency crises. First, the model shows that failed defenses (attacks) can be ex-ante rational for governments (speculators). Second, the model predicts systematic variations in the durations of defenses. Finally, we also show that currency crises can be self-fulfilling in the sense that there exist multiple rational expectation equilibria in our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 540-546

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:4:p:540-546

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Currency crisis Speculative attacks;

References

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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Martinelli, Cesar & Escorza, Raul, 2007. "When are stabilizations delayed? Alesina-Drazen revisited," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1223-1245, July.
  3. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bensaid, B.B. & Jeanne, O., 1995. "The Instability of Fixed Exchange Rate Systems when Raising the Nominal Interest Rate is Costly," Papers 9536, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  5. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity, and the Timing of Attacks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 711-756, 05.
  6. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan & Christian Hellwig, 2007. "Defense Policies Against Currency Attacks: on the Possibility of Predictions in a Global Game with Multiple Equilibria," Discussion Papers 1459, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-48, August.
  8. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
  9. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Dynamic Global Games of Regime Change: Learning, Multiplicity and Timing of Attacks," Discussion Papers 1497, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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