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Negative Alchemy? Corruption, Composition of Capital Flows, and Currency Crises

In: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets

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  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Yi Wu

Abstract

Crony capitalism and self-fulfilling expectations by international creditors are often suggested as two rival explanations for currency crisis. This paper examines a possible linkage between the two that has not been explored much in the literature: corruption may affect a country's composition of capital inflows in a way that makes it more likely to experience a currency crisis that is triggered/aided by a sudden reversal of international capital flows. We find robust evidence that poor public governance is associated with a higher loan-to-FDI ratio. Such a composition of capital flows has been identified as being associated with a higher incidence of a currency crisis. We also find some weaker evidence that poor public governance is associated with a country's inability to borrow internationally in its own currency. The latter is also associated with a higher incidence of a currency crisis. To sum up, even though crony capitalism does not forecast the timing of a crisis, it can nevertheless increase its likelihood. This paper illustrates a particular channel through which this can happen.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Sebastian Edwards & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2002. "Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa02-2, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10642.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10642

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    1. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Natural Openness and Good Government," NBER Working Papers 7765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "Why is Corruption So Much More Taxing Than Tax? Arbitrariness Kills," NBER Working Papers 6255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 2000. "The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in East Asian Economic Development, NBER-EASE Volume 9," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_00-2, October.
    4. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," NBER Working Papers 6030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Why Does China Attract So Little Foreign Direct Investment?," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in East Asian Economic Development, NBER-EASE Volume 9, pages 239-265 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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