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Asian Crises: Theory, Evidence, Warning-Signals

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  • Jerome L. Stein
  • Guay C. Lim

Abstract

In July 1997, the economies of East Asia became embroiled in one of the worst financial crises of the postwar period. Yet, prior to the crisis, these economies were seen as models of economic growth experiencing sustained growth rates that exceeded those earlier thought unattainable. Why did the market not anticipate the crises? To this end, we review the Asian financial crisis from two related perspectives - whether the crisis was precipitated by a failure of the real exchange rate to be aligned with its fundamental determinants and/or whether the crisis was precipitated by a divergence of the foreign debt from its optimal path. The first perspective is based on a coherent theory of the equilibrium real exchange rate - the NATREX model - that shows how “misalignments” lead to currency crises. The second perspective is based on a model of optimal foreign debt ratio - derived from stochastic optimal control - which shows why “divergences” lead to debt crises. The important point here is that these models suggest important variables which may serve as warning signals to predict crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerome L. Stein & Guay C. Lim, 2004. "Asian Crises: Theory, Evidence, Warning-Signals," CESifo Working Paper Series 1159, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1159
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1159.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stein, Jerome L & Paladino, Giovanna, 2001. "Country Default Risk: An Empirical Assessment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 417-436, December.
    2. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Végh, 2003. "The Unholy Trinity of Financial Contagion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 51-74, Fall.
    3. Stein, Jerome L & Paladino, Giovanna, 2001. "Country Default Risk: An Empirical Assessment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 417-436, December.
    4. Jerome L. Stein & Guay C. Lim, 2002. "Introduction to "Exchange Rates in Europe and Australasia: Fundamental Determinants, Adjustments and Policy Implications"," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 329-341, December.
    5. Carlos O. Arteta, 2003. "Are financially dollarized countries more prone to costly crises?," International Finance Discussion Papers 763, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Ramkishen S. Rajan & Reza Siregar, 2002. "Choice of Exchange Rate Regime: Currency Board (Hong Kong) or Monitoring Band (Singapore)?," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 538-556, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asian crises; optimal debt; equilibrium exchange rates; NATREX; stochastic optimal control; warning signals of crises; exchange rate misalignment;

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