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Strong Contagion with Weak Spillovers


  • Martin Ellison

    (University of Warwick)

  • Liam Graham

    (University College London)

  • Jouko Vilmunen

    (Bank of Finland)


In this paper, we develop an explanation for why events in one market may trigger similar events in other markets, even though at first sight the markets appear to be only weakly related. We allow for escape dynamics in each market, and show that an escape in one market is contagious because it more than doubles the probability of a similar escape in another market. We claim that contagion is strong since escapes become highly synchronised across markets. Spillovers are weak because the instantaneous spillover of events from one market to another is small. To illustrate our result, we demonstrate how a currency crisis may be contagious with only weak links between countries. Other examples where weak spillovers would create strong contagion are various models of monetary policy, imperfect competition and endogenous growth. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ellison & Liam Graham & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Strong Contagion with Weak Spillovers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 263-283, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:9:y:2006:i:2:p:263-283
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2000. "A simple model of monetary policy and currency crises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 728-738, May.
    2. Cho, In-Koo & Kasa, Kenneth, 2008. "Learning Dynamics And Endogenous Currency Crises," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 257-285, April.
    3. Robert Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2004. "Avoiding Nash Inflation: Bayesian and Robus Responses to Model Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 869-899, October.
    4. Bullard, James & Cho, In-Koo, 2005. "Escapist policy rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1841-1865, November.
    5. Williams, Noah, 2004. "Small noise asymptotics for a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 271-298, December.
    6. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.
    7. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
    8. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
    9. Bruce McGough, 2006. "Shocking Escapes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 507-528, April.
    10. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2002. "Flation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 1-6.
      • William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    11. Masson, Paul, 1999. "Contagion:: macroeconomic models with multiple equilibria," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 587-602, August.
    12. Gerali, Andrea & Lippi, Francesco, 2001. "On the 'Conquest' of Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Kenneth Kasa, 2004. "Learning, Large Deviations, And Recurrent Currency Crises," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 141-173, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.

    More about this item


    Contagion; Escape dynamics; Learning; Spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange


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