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Redemption or Abstinence? Original Sin, Currency Mismatches and Counter Cyclical Policies in the New Millennium

  • Hausmann Ricardo

    (Harvard University)

  • Panizza Ugo


This paper updates our previous work on the level and evolution of original sin. It shows that while the number of countries that issue local-currency debt in international markets has increased in the past decade, this improvement has been quite modest. Although we find that countries have been borrowing at home, thanks to deepening domestic markets, we document that foreign participation in these markets is more limited than what is usually assumed. The paper shows that the recent decline of currency mismatches and the consequent ability to conduct countercyclical macroeconomic policies is due to lower net debt (abstinence) and not to redemption from original sin. We conclude that original sin continues to make financial globalization unattractive and developing countries have opted for abstinence because foreign currency debt is too risky. The promised paradise of financial globalization will need to wait for redemption from original sin.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Globalization and Development.

Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:2:y:2011:i:1:n:4
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  1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John D. Burger & Francis E. Warnock, 2006. "Local Currency Bond Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(si), pages 7.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen, 2004. "Debt intolerance: Executive summary," MPRA Paper 13398, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-98, September.
  5. Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto H. Stein, 2000. "Why Do Countries Float the Way They Float?," Research Department Publications 4205, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  6. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo, 2003. "On the determinants of Original Sin: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 957-990, December.
  7. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates
    [This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  9. Ugo Panizza & Dany Jaimovich, 2007. "Procyclicality or Reverse Causality?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6843, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Julien Reynaud & Arnaud Mehl, 2007. "The determinants of "domestic" original sin in emerging market economies," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 159, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  11. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt In The Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Business School Working Papers 2006-09, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  14. Ugo Panizza, 2008. "Domestic And External Public Debt In Developing Countries," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 188, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
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