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Regionality Revisited: An Examination of the Direction of Spread of Currency Crises

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  • Anja Shortland
  • Roberto Leon-Gonzalez
  • Amil Dasgupta

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Abstract

What determines the direction of spread of currency crises? We examine data on waves of currency crises in 1992, 1994, 1997, and 1998 to evaluate several hypotheses on the determinants of contagion. We simultaneously consider trade competition, financial links, and institutional similarity to the “ground-zero” country as potential drivers of contagion. To overcome data limitations and account for model uncertainty, we utilize Bayesian methodologies hitherto unused in the empirical literature on contagion. In particular, we use the Bayesian averaging of binary models which allows us to take into account the uncertainty regarding the appropriate set of regressors. We find that institutional similarity to the ground-zero country, as measured by quality of governance indicators, plays an important role in determining the direction of contagion in all the emerging market currency crises in our dataset. We thus provide persuasive evidence in favour of the “wake up call” hypothesis for financial contagion. Trade and financial links may also play a role in determining the direction of contagion, but their importance varies amongst the crisis periods and may be sensitive to the specification of the prior.JEL Classification: F31, F32, C11Keywords: Financial contagion; Currency crises; Governance; Bayesian Model Averaging

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Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp584.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp584

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  1. Allan Drazen, 2000. "Political Contagion in Currency Crises," NBER Chapters, in: Currency Crises, pages 47-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F.J. Steel, 1998. "Benchmark Priors for Bayesian Model Averaging," Econometrics 9804001, EconWPA, revised 31 Jul 1999.
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Cited by:
  1. Manz, Michael, 2010. "Information-based contagion and the implications for financial fragility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 900-910, October.
  2. Geert Bekaert & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Arnaud Mehl, 2014. "The Global Crisis and Equity Market Contagion," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1352, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Ahnert, Toni & Bertsch, Christoph, 2013. "A wake-up call: information contagion and strategic uncertainty," Working Paper Series 282, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Mar 2014.
  4. Leila Ali & Marie Lebreton, 2013. "The Fall of Bretton Woods: Which Geography Matters?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1396-1419.

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