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Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis

  • Craig Burnside
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Sergio Rebelo

This paper argues that a principal cause of the 1997 Asian currency crisis was large prospective deficits associated with implicit bailout guarantees to failing banking systems. The expectation that these future deficits would be at least partially financed by seigniorage revenues or an inflation tax on outstanding nominal debt led to a collapse of the fixed exchange rate regimes in Asia. We articulate this view using a simple model whose key feature is that a speculative attack is inevitable once the present value of future government deficits rises. We present empirical evidence in support of the key assumptions underlying our interpretation of the crisis.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/323271
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 109 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1155-1197

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:6:p:1155-1197
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
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  10. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Neves, Joao C & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2001. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Corsetti, G. & Pesenti, P. & Roubini, N., 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Papers 343, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  14. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1998. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Speculative Attack and the External Constraint in a Maximizing Model of the Balance of Payments," NBER Working Papers 1437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1987. "Balance of Payments Crises in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 19-32, February.
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  24. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
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  26. Dupor, Bill, 2000. "Exchange rates and the fiscal theory of the price level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 613-630, June.
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