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On Graduation from Default, Inflation and Banking Crises: Elusive or Illusion?

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25

  • Rong Qian
  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Kenneth S. Rogoff

This paper uses a data set of over two hundred years of sovereign debt, banking and inflation crises to explore the question of how long it takes a country to "graduate" from the typical pattern of serial crisis that most emerging markets experience. We find that for default and inflation crises, twenty years is a significant market, but the distribution of recidivism has extremely fat tails. In the case of banking crises, it is unclear whether countries ever graduate. We also examine the more recent phenomenon of IMF programs, which sometimes result in "near misses" but sometimes end in default even after a program is instituted. The paper raises the important theoretical question of why countries experience serial default, and how they might graduate.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Daron Acemoglu & Michael Woodford, 2011. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem10-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12024.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12024
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    2. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2009. "Investment Cycles and Sovereign Debt Overhang," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-31.
    3. Luis A. V. Catao & Ana Fostel & Sandeep Kapur, 2008. "Persistent Gaps and Default Traps," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0803, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    4. Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-112.
    5. Reinhart, Carmen & Qian, Rong & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Do countries “graduate” from crises? Some historical perspective," MPRA Paper 24761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-97, December.
    7. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," NBER Working Papers 15512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    9. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-78, February.
    11. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default In "Bad Times"?," CAMA Working Papers 2007-23, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    12. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2002. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 8963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
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    16. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    18. anonymous, 1982. "Monetary policy objectives for 1982," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Fall, pages 3-7.
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    21. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2010. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 15815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2005. "When It Rains, It Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 11-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
    24. Missale, Alessandro & Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1994. "The Debt Burden and Debt Maturity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 309-19, March.
    25. Harold L. Cole & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1996. "Reputation Spillover Across Relationships with Enduring and Transient Beliefs: Reviving reputation Models of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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