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A Theory of the Onset of Currency Attacks

  • Morris, Stephen
  • Shin, Hyun Song

The swiftness and devastating impact of recent financial crises have taken many market participants by surprise and pose challenges for economists seeking a theory of the onset of a crisis. We propose such a theory based on two features. The actions of diverse economic actors which undermine the currency are mutually reinforcing, while the fragmented nature of the media create small disparities in their information. In such circumstances, the beliefs of market participants can be tracked in the same way as the economic fundamentals and an attack is triggered when the economic fundamentals deteriorate sufficiently to fall below the minimum level of market confidence necessary to support the currency. We give a characterization of such a minimum level of confidence.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2025.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2025
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  1. 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.
  2. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1984. "Gold Monetization and Gold Discipline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 90-107, February.
  3. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, . ""Approximate Common Knowledge and Co-ordination: Recent Lessons from Game Theory''," CARESS Working Papres 96-07, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Hans Carlsson & Eric van Damme, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001088, David K. Levine.
  6. Atsushi Kajii & Stephen Morris, . "The Robustness of Equilibria to Incomplete Information," Penn CARESS Working Papers ed504c985fc375cbe719b3f60, Penn Economics Department.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
  8. Morris, Stephen & Rob, Rafael & Shin, Hyun Song, 1995. "Dominance and Belief Potential," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 145-57, January.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
  10. Hali Edison & Pongsak Luangaram & Marcus Miller, 1998. "Asset Bubbles, Domino Effects and 'Lifeboats': Elements of the East Asian Crisis," CSGR Working papers series 05/98, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  11. Kumar, Mohan & Moorthy, Uma & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Predicting emerging market currency crashes," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 427-454, September.
  12. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-48, August.
  13. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  14. Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1988. "Common knowledge," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 118, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  15. Carlsson, H. & Van Dame, E., 1991. "Equilibrium Selection in Stag Hunt Games," Papers 9170, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  16. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154416 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Van Damme, E., 1991. "Equilibrium Selection in 2 x 2 Games," Papers 9108, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  18. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Stephen W. Salant & Dale W. Henderson, 1976. "Market anticipations, government policy, and the price of gold," International Finance Discussion Papers 81, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
  21. Shin Hyun Song, 1993. "Logical Structure of Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-13, June.
  22. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
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