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Learning to Forget? Contagion and Political Risk in Brazil

  • Miller, Marcus
  • Thampanishvong, Kannika
  • Zhang, Lei

We examine whether Brazilian sovereign spreads of over 20% in 2002 could be due to contagion from Argentina or to domestic politics, or both. Treating unilateral debt restructuring as a policy variable gives rise to the possibility of self-fulfilling crisis, which can be triggered by contagion. We explore an alternative political-economy explanation of panic in financial markets inspired by Alesina (1987), which stresses exaggerated market fears of an untried Left-wing candidate. To account for the fall of sovereign spreads since the election, we employ a model of Bayesian learning and analyse the effects of contagion and IMF commitments.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3785.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3785
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  1. Sayantan Ghosal & Marcus Miller, 2003. "Co-ordination Failure, Moral Hazard and Sovereign Bankruptcy Procedures," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 276-304, 04.
  2. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Rethinking Multiple Equilibria in Macroeconomic Modelling," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1260, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-fulfilling Features," CEPR Discussion Papers 1315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Fratzscher, Marcel, 2002. "On currency crises and contagion," Working Paper Series 0139, European Central Bank.
  5. Rosal, Joao Mauricio & Spagat, Michael, 2002. "Structural Uncertainty and Central Bank Conservatism: The Ignorant Should Keep Their Eyes Shut," CEPR Discussion Papers 3568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Paul R. Masson, 1998. "Contagion; Monsoonal Effects, Spillovers, and Jumps Between Multiple Equilibria," IMF Working Papers 98/142, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Crippsss, Martin, 1991. "Learning rational expectations in a policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 297-315, April.
  8. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2000. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Working Paper Series 0028, European Central Bank.
  9. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Sachs, J. & Tornell, A. & Velasco, A., 1996. "The Mexican Peso Crisis: Sudden Death or Death Foretold?," Working Papers 96-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. 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.
  13. Driffill, John & Miller, Marcus, 1993. "Learning and Inflation Convergence in the ERM," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 369-78, March.
  14. Carlo Ambrogio Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, . "Why are BrazilĀ“s Interest Rates so High?," Working Papers 224, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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