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International Financial Contagion and the Fund —A Theoretical Framework

  • Peter Clark
  • Haizhou Huang


In this paper we provide a model of contagion in which countries are linked through the international capital market which allows borrowing and lending for consumption smoothing. Borrowing from the International Monetary Fund also provides a mechanism for countries to smooth consumption intertemporally. Facing a large shock that makes it impossible for a country simultaneously to achieve a desired minimum level of consumption and to service its foreign debt, the country will default. This will put some upward pressure on world interest rates, which raises the debt service costs of other indebted countries and can generate further rounds of defaults. In this environment the Fund has an important systemic function in lending to members to limit the extent of contagion and default. The Fund can be seen as internalizing the externality generated by the contagion that spreads through the channel of the world capital market that links all countries. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 17 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 399-422

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:17:y:2006:i:4:p:399-422
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  1. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 2000. "Financial Contagion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 1-33, February.
  2. Haizhou Huang & Chenggang Xu, 2000. "Financial Institutions, Financial Contagion, and Financial Crises," IMF Working Papers 00/92, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Kenneth M. Kletzer and Brian D. Wright., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-100, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Peter B. Clark & Haizhou Huang, 2001. "International Financial Contagion and the IMF: A Theoretical Framework," IMF Working Papers 01/137, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Marchesi, Silvia & Thomas, Jonathan P, 1999. "IMF Conditionality as a Screening Device," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C111-25, March.
  6. Manmohan S. Kumar & Paul R. Masson & Marcus Miller, 2000. "Global Financial Crises: Institutions and Incentives," IMF Working Papers 00/105, International Monetary Fund.
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