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Phoenix miracles in emerging markets: recovering without credit from systemic financial crises

  • Alejandro Izquierdo
  • Ernesto Talvi
  • Guillermo A Calvo

Using a sample of emerging markets that are integrated into global bond markets, we analyse the collapse and recovery phase of output collapses that coincide with systemic sudden stops, defined as periods of skyrocketing aggregate bond spreads and large capital flow reversals. Our findings indicate the presence of a very similar pattern across different episodes: output recovers with virtually no recovery in either domestic or foreign credit, a phenomenon that we call Phoenix Miracle, where output "rises from its ashes", suggesting that firms go through a process of financial engineering to restore liquidity outside the formal credit markets. Moreover, we show that the US Great Depression could be catalogued as a Phoenix Miracle. However, in contrast to the US Great Depression, EM output collapses occur in a context of accelerating price inflation and falling real wages, casting doubts on price deflation and nominal wage rigidity as key elements in explaining output collapse, and suggesting that financial factors are prominent for understanding these collapses.

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Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 221.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:221
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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejia, 2004. "On the Empirics of Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects," NBER Working Papers 10520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Jeffrey Frankel, 2007. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Research Department Publications 4544, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2005. "Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033348, June.
  4. Valerie Cerra & Sweta C. Saxena, 2005. "Growth Dynamics: The Myth of Economic Recovery," Macroeconomics 0508008, EconWPA.
  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6821, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Izquierdo, Alejandro & Loo-Kung, Rudy, 2006. "Relative price volatility under Sudden Stops: The relevance of balance sheet effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 231-254, June.
  7. Guillermo A. Calvo & Ernesto Talvi, 2005. "Sudden Stop, Financial Factors and Economic Collpase in Latin America: Learning from Argentina and Chile," NBER Working Papers 11153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke, 1994. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," NBER Working Papers 4814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
  10. Alejandro Izquierdo, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability in Argentina," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(7), pages 903-923, 07.
  11. Enrique G. Mendoza & Katherine A. Smith, 2002. "Margin Calls, Trading Costs, and Asset Prices in Emerging Markets: The Finanical Mechanics of the 'Sudden Stop' Phenomenon," NBER Working Papers 9286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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