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Propagation of Crises across Countries: Trade Roots of Contagion Effects




The paper provides an explanation of the mechanisms underlying trade roots of the contagion effects emanating from the recent turmoils. It is argued that under demand uncertainty risk averse behavior of firms provides a basis for international trade. The paper shows by means of a simple two-country model that risk averse firms operating in perfectly competitive markets with uncertainty of demand tend to diversify markets what gives a basis for international trade in identical commodities even between identical countries. It is shown that such trade may be welfare improving despite efficiency losses due to cross-hauling and transportation costs. The analysis reveals that change of the expectations concerning market conditions caused by the turmoil in the neighbor country (i.e., shift in the perception of market conditions) may lead to macroeconomic destabilization (increase in price level and unemployment, worsening of terms of trade, and deterioration of trade balance).

Suggested Citation

  • Cukrowski, Jacek & Aksen, Ernest & Fischer, Manfred M., 2002. "Propagation of Crises across Countries: Trade Roots of Contagion Effects," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 55(2), pages 213-227.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ecoint:0190

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew K & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Contagious Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 1453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    4. Paul R Masson, 1998. "Contagion; Monsoonal Effects, Spillovers, and Jumps Between Multiple Equilibria," IMF Working Papers 98/142, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    6. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
    7. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1989. "The Political Economy of Overvaluation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 850-855, September.
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    More about this item


    Crises propagation; contagion; reasons for trade; intra-industry trade; demand uncertainty; risk aversion; market diversification;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General


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