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Political Contagion in Currency Crises

In: Currency Crises

  • Allan Drazen

Existing models of contagious currency crises are summarized and surveyed, and it is argued that more weight should be put on political factors. Towards this end, the concept of political contagion introduced, whereby contagion in speculative attacks across currencies arises solely because of political objectives of countries. A specific model of membership' contagion is presented. The desire to be part of a political-economic union, where maintaining a fixed exchange rate is a condition for membership and where the value of membership depends positively on who else is a member, is shown to give rise to potential contagion. We then present evidence suggesting that political contagion may have been important in the 1992-3 EMS crisis.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Paul Krugman, 2000. "Currency Crises," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krug00-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8689.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8689
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Masson, Paul R, 1995. "Gaining and Losing ERM Credibility: The Case of the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 571-82, May.
    2. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," NBER Working Papers 6150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    4. Bensaid, Bernard & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "The instability of fixed exchange rate systems when raising the nominal interest rate is costly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1461-1478, August.
    5. Leonardo Bartolini & Allan Drazen, 1996. "Capital Account Liberalization as a Signal," NBER Working Papers 5725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    7. Drazen, Allan & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Stabilization with Exchange Rate Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 835-55, November.
    8. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1995. "Contagious speculative attacks," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 45-63, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Ozkan, F Gulcin & Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Policy Measures to Avoid a Currency Crisis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 510-19, March.
    11. Paul R. Masson & Allan Drazen, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," IMF Working Papers 94/49, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    13. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1993. "The Unstable EMS," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 51-144.
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