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Stiglitz Versus the IMF on the Asian Debt Crisis: An Intertemporal Model with Real Exchange Rate Overshooting

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  • Kirsanova, Tatiana
  • Menzies, Gordon
  • Vines, David

Abstract

This paper develops a real model of financial crisis, and uses it to elucidate the controversy between Joe Stiglitz and the IMF concerning the Asian financial crisis. Borrowers of foreign capital are bound by lending contracts to pay the world rate of return on their borrowing, following an adverse shock; by assumption, they do not default. This is onerous, since the shock makes the marginal product of capital fall to less than the world rate of return, and creates a debt overhang on which interest must be paid. The country faces a choice. It could choose to pay these extra interest obligations on its debt overhang -- a transfer -- in every period, raise taxes in order to meet these obligations, and thereby gradually reduce capital to its new lower level, at which point there would no longer be a debt overhang. We describe this as the `IMF strategy'. Alternatively the country could choose the `Stiglitz strategy': it could immediately borrow internationally the sum of all the future interest obligations on its debt overhang, perhaps with the assistance of the IMF. It would need to raise taxes in order to meet the interest costs on that extra borrowing. But the fiscal cost of doing this would be finite and the fiscal costs would be equally spread across time. The short run tax burden would thus be smaller. We show that balance sheet effects mean that the real exchange rate can greatly overshoot in the IMF strategy, whereas it need not overshoot in the Stiglitz strategy. That will lessen the `crisis' aspects of the short run responses to the shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsanova, Tatiana & Menzies, Gordon & Vines, David, 2007. "Stiglitz Versus the IMF on the Asian Debt Crisis: An Intertemporal Model with Real Exchange Rate Overshooting," CEPR Discussion Papers 6318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6318
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chiţu, Livia, 2012. "Was unofficial dollarisation/euroisation an amplifier of the 'Great Recession' of 2007-09 in emerging economies," Working Paper Series 1473, European Central Bank.
    2. Livia Chitu, 2013. "Was Unofficial Dollarisation/Euroisation an Amplifier of the ‘Great Recession’ of 2007–2009 in Emerging Economies?," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 55(2), pages 233-265, June.
    3. Gordon Menzies & David Vines, 2008. "The Transfer Problem and Real Exchange Rate Overshooting in Financial Crises: The Role of the Debt Servicing Multiplier," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 709-727, September.
    4. Brown, Martin & Lane, Philip R., 2011. "Debt overhang in emerging Europe ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5784, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt overhang; financial crisis; fiscal adjustment;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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