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Identifying the effects of an exchange rate depreciation on country risk: Evidence from a natural experiment

  • Bordo, Michael D.
  • Meissner, Christopher M.
  • Weidenmier, Marc D.

A natural experiment is used to study exchange rate depreciation and perceived sovereign risk. France suspended coinage of silver in 1876 provoking a significant exogenous depreciation of all silver standard countries versus gold standard currencies like the British pound - the currency in which their debt was payable. The evidence suggests an exchange rate depreciation can significantly increase sovereign risk if a country is exposed to foreign currency debt. We implement a difference-in-differences estimator and find that the average silver country's spread on hard currency debt increased over ten percent relative to non-silver countries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (October)
Pages: 1022-1044

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:28:y:2009:i:6:p:1022-1044
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

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  1. Nugent, Jeffrey B, 1973. "Exchange-Rate Movements and Economic Development in the Late Nineteenth Century," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1110-35, Sept.-Oct.
  2. Oppers, Stefan Erik, 1996. "Was the worldwide shift to gold inevitable? An analysis of the end of bimetallism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 143-162, February.
  3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  4. Flandreau, Marc, 1996. "The French Crime of 1873: An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870–1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 862-897, December.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  6. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2004. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1183-1193, September.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher Meissner & Angela Redish, 2003. "How "Original Sin" was Overcome: The Evolution of External Debt Denominated in Domestic Currencies in the United States and the British Dominions," NBER Working Papers 9841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Flandreau, Marc & Sussman, Nathan, 2004. "Old Sins: Exchange Rate Clauses and European Foreign Lending in the 19th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Currency Mismatches, Debt Intolerance and Original Sin: Why They Are Not the Same and Why it Matters," NBER Working Papers 10036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  11. Friedman, Milton, 1990. "Bimetallism Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
  12. Hanson, John R, II, 1975. "Exchange-Rate Movements and Economic Development in the Late Nineteenth Century: A Critique," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 859-62, August.
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