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130 years of fiscal vulnerabilities and currency crashes in advanced economies

  • Fratzscher, Marcel
  • Mehl, Arnaud
  • Vansteenkiste, Isabel

This paper investigates the empirical link between fiscal vulnerabilities and currency crashes in advanced economies over the last 130 years, building on a new dataset of real effective exchange rates and fiscal balances for 21 countries since 1880. We find evidence that crashes depend more on prospective fiscal deficits than on actual ones, and more on the composition of public debt (i.e. rollover/sudden stop risk) than on its level per se. We also uncover significant nonlinear effects at high levels of public debt as well as significantly negative risk premia for major reserve currencies, which enjoy a lower probability of currency crash than other currencies ceteris paribus. Yet, our estimates indicate that such premia remain small in size relative to the conditional probability of a currency crash if prospective fiscal deficits or rollover/sudden stop risk are high. This suggests that a currency’s international status is not necessarily sufficient to shelter it from collapse.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8612.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8612
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  1. Kaminsky, Graciela & Lizondo, Saul & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1997. "Leading indicators of currency crises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1852, The World Bank.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Fear of Floating," NBER Working Papers 7993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 1999. "Inversión de las corrientes de capital, tipo de cambio y dolarización
    [Capital Flow Reversals, the Exchange Rate Debate, and Dollarization]
    ," MPRA Paper 13692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner & David Stuckler, 2009. "Foreign Currency Debt, Financial Crises and Economic Growth: A Long Run View," NBER Working Papers 15534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2006. "Monetary Policy Challenges in Emerging Markets: Sudden Stop, Liability Dollarization, and Lender of Last Resort," NBER Working Papers 12788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2010. "This Time is Different Chartbook: Country Histories on Debt, Default, and Financial Crises," NBER Working Papers 15815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "A Historical Public Debt Database," IMF Working Papers 10/245, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2002. "Towards a new early warning system of financial crises," Working Paper Series 0145, European Central Bank.
  12. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-61, April.
  13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt," NBER Working Papers 13946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
  15. Christopher M Meissner & Michael D Bordo, 2006. "The Role of Foreign Currency Debt in Financial Crises: 1880-1913 vs. 1972-1997," WEF Working Papers 0001, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  16. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "Is the 2007 US Sub-prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 339-44, May.
  17. Mehl, Arnaud & Reynaud, Julien, 2010. "Risky public domestic debt composition in emerging economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-18, February.
  18. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 7209, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Missale, Alessandro, 2004. "High public debt in currency crises: fundamentals versus signaling effects," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 165-188, March.
  20. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises: A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
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