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Early warning for currency crises: what is the role of financial openness?


  • Jon Frost
  • Ayako Saiki


We explore the role of financial openness - capital account openness and gross capital inflows - and a newly constructed gravity-based contagion index to assess the importance of these factors in the run-up to currency crises. Using a quarterly data set of 46 advanced and emerging market economies (EMEs) during the period 1975Q1-2011Q4, we estimate a multi-variable probit model including in the post-Lehman period. Our key findings are as follows. First, capital account openness is a robust indicator, reducing the probability of currency crisis for advanced economies, but less so for EMEs. Second, surges in gross (but not net) capital inflows in general increase the risk of a currency crisis, but looking at a disaggregated level, gross portfolio flows increase the risk of a currency crisis for advanced economies, whereas gross FDI inflows decrease the risk of a crisis for EMEs. Third, contagion has a very strong impact, consistent with the past literature, especially during the post-Lehman shock episode. Last, our model performs well out-of-sample, confirming that early warning models were helpful in judging relative vulnerability of countries during and since the Lehman crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon Frost & Ayako Saiki, 2013. "Early warning for currency crises: what is the role of financial openness?," DNB Working Papers 373, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:373

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    Cited by:

    1. Tristan Nguyen & Nguyen Ngoc Duy, 2017. "Developing an Early Warning System for Financial Crises in Vietnam," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 7(4), pages 413-430, April.
    2. Jon Frost & Ruben van Tilburg, 2014. "Financial globalization or great financial expansion? The impact of capital flows on credit and banking crises," DNB Working Papers 441, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item


    Currency crisis; early warning; financial stability; capital account openness; capital flows; contagion; exchange rate regime;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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