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Extreme Value Theory and the Incidence of Currency Crises


  • Reza Siregar
  • Victor Pontines
  • Ramkishen Rajan,


A common feature of numerous studies on early warning systems (EWS) of currency crisis is the use of an index of exchange market pressure, defined as a weighted average of the rate of depreciation, the monthly percentage changes in international reserves, and sometimes the inclusion of the monthly change in the interest rate, in order to identify and proxy the occurrence of currency crisis. Crucial to this approach is the appropriate definition of a currency crisis, and the literature has usually defined currency crisis occurring when the measure of exchange market pressure exceeds a certain threshold. The main theme of the paper is that not only is the use of a threshold in defining currency crisis as arbitrary, but a much more careful examination of the basic statistical distribution of the measures of exchange market pressure will reveal that the conventional method of defining currency crisis is statistically flawed or inaccurate in capturing the 'true' dispersion of any given exchange market pressure series. This study applies an alternative statistical method known as Extreme Value Analysis (EVA) to three different weighting schemes popularly adopted in the literature in constructing exchange market pressure indexes, namely the Eichengreen-Rose-Wyplosz (ERW), the Sachs-Tornell-Velasco (STV) and the Kaminsky-Lizondo-Reinhart (KLR). The application of EVA leads to more incidences of currency crises being identified or 'captured' compared to the conventional method across a number of countries in East Asia and Latin America from 1985 to 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Reza Siregar & Victor Pontines & Ramkishen Rajan,, 2004. "Extreme Value Theory and the Incidence of Currency Crises," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 181, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:181

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. " Contagious Currency Crises: First Tests," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 463-484, December.
    2. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    4. Girton, Lance & Roper, Don, 1977. "A Monetary Model of Exchange Market Pressure Applied to the Postwar Canadian Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 537-548, September.
    5. Huisman, Ronald, et al, 2001. "Tail-Index Estimates in Small Samples," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 208-216, April.
    6. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Aaron Tornell & Andrés Velasco, 1996. "Financial Crises in Emerging Markets: The Lessons from 1995," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 147-216.
    7. Blanco, Herminio & Garber, Peter M, 1986. "Recurrent Devaluation and Speculative Attacks on the Mexican Peso," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 148-166, February.
    8. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
    9. Pozo, Susan & Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina, 2003. "Statistical distributions and the identification of currency crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 591-609, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Licchetta, Mirko, 2009. "Common determinants of currency crises: role of external balance sheet variables," Bank of England working papers 366, Bank of England.
    2. Jan P. A. M. Lestano, 2007. "Dating currency crises with ad hoc and extreme value-based thresholds: East Asia 1970-2002 [Dating currency crises]," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 371-388.

    More about this item


    Extreme Value Theory; Currency Crises; Exchange Market Pressure; East Asia; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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