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A Theory of the Onset of Currency Attacks

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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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d12a/d1204.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1204.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Dec 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Agenor, Miller, Vines and Weber, eds., Asian Financial Crisis: Causes, Contagion and Consequences, Cambridge University Press, 1999
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1204
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Atsushi Kajii & Stephen Morris, . ""The Robustness of Equilibria to Incomplete Information*''," CARESS Working Papres 95-18, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
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  7. van Damme, E.E.C., 1991. "Equilibrium selection in 2 x 2 games," Other publications TiSEM 1c09a228-43e3-48ec-ad9c-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  8. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. 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.
  14. Kumar, Mohan & Moorthy, Uma & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Predicting emerging market currency crashes," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 427-454, September.
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  16. 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).
  17. 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.
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  22. 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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