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Financial Instability under Floating Exchange Rates

At the end of the nineties, many developing countries featured an open capital market and relied heavily on dollar-debt financing of their economy. This paper analyses whether, in this context, clean floating can be a sustainable policy choice. The model is cast as a game between successive generations of investors who decide whether they buy or not the debt of a representative firm. The exchange rate is subject to random shocks, which makes uncertain the private sector’s solvency. We show that a small risk of insolvency would bring about a much larger risk of illiquidity. A rational expectation equilibrium without default can be put forward only in the highly improbable case when the currency is extremely overvalued. The case against flexible exchange rates may be stronger than usually thought.

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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number DR 03011.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-03011
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  1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "International Institutions for Reducing Global Financial Instability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 21-42, Fall.
  2. Herwartz, Helmut & Reimers, Hans-Eggert, 2000. "Testing the purchasing power parity in pooled systems of error correction models," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,79, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Sebastian Edwards, 2002. "The Great Exchange Rate Debate after Argentina," Working Papers 74, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  4. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
  5. Rapach, David E. & Wohar, Mark E., 2002. "Testing the monetary model of exchange rate determination: new evidence from a century of data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 359-385, December.
  6. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit & Bacchetta, Philippe & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Currency Crises and Monetary Policy in an Economy with Credit Constraints," Scholarly Articles 4554218, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
  9. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "No Single Currency Regime is Right for All Countries or At All Times," NBER Working Papers 7338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Masson, Paul, 1999. "Contagion:: macroeconomic models with multiple equilibria," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 587-602, August.
  12. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
  13. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
  14. Cowan, kevin & Quy-Toan Do, 2003. "Financial dollarization and central bank credibility," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3082, The World Bank.
  15. Besancenot, Damien & Huynh, Kim & Vranceanu, Radu, 2004. "Default on sustainable public debt: illiquidity suspect convicted," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 205-211, February.
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