Balance Sheet Effects in Currency Crises: Evidence from Brazil
"Third-generation currency crises models" argue that capital losses from exchange-rate depreciation propagate the crises to the productive sector. To test these models, we use a firm-level dataset that allows us to measure currency mismatches around the 2002 Brazilian currency crisis. We find that, between 2001 and 2003, firms that shortly before the crisis had large currency mismatches decreased their investment rates by 8.1 percentual points, relatively to other public firms. Moreover, we show that the currency depreciation implied large competitive gains for the exporters, and yet the investment of exporters with large currency mismatches fell by 12.5 percentual points, relatively to other exporters. The estimated falls in investment are economically very relevant, thereby corroborating the relevance of third generation models negative balance sheet effects.
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