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Learning to Forget? Contagion and Political Risk in Brazil

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, Marcus & Thampanishvong, Kannika & Zhang, Lei, 2003. "Learning to Forget? Contagion and Political Risk in Brazil," CEPR Discussion Papers 3785, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3785
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
    3. Marcel Fratzscher, 2003. "On currency crises and contagion," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(2), pages 109-129.
    4. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1909, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Sachs, Jeffrey & Tornell, Aaron & Velasco, Andres, 1996. "The Mexican peso crisis: Sudden death or death foretold?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 265-283, November.
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    7. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
    8. Carlo Ambrogio Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, "undated". "Why are BrazilĀ“s Interest Rates so High?," Working Papers 224, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    9. 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, April.
    10. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Driffill, John & Miller, Marcus, 1993. "Learning and Inflation Convergence in the ERM," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 369-378, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Manuela Goretti, 2005. "The Brazilian currency turmoil of 2002: a nonlinear analysis," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 289-306.
    2. Rigobon, Roberto, 2016. "Contagion, spillover and interdependence," Working Paper Series 1975, European Central Bank.
    3. Rigobon, Roberto, 2016. "Contagion, spillover and interdependence," Bank of England working papers 607, Bank of England.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bayesian learning; political risk; sovereign spreads; time-consistency;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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