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Financial Crises in Emerging Markets: The Lessons from 1995

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffrey Sachs
  • Aaron Tornell
  • Andres Velasco

In this paper we examine closely the financial events following the Mexican peso devaluation to uncover new lessons about the nature of financial crises. We explore the question of why, during 1995, some emerging markets were hit by financial crises while others were not. To this end, we ask whether there are some fundamentals that help explain the variation in financial crises across countries or whether the variation just reflects contagion. We present a simple model identifying three factors that determine whether a country is more vulnerable to suffer a financial crisis: a high real exchange rate appreciation, a recent lending boom, and low reserves. We find that for a set of 20 emerging markets, differences in these fundamentals go far in explaining why during 1995 some emerging markets were hit by financial crises while others were not. We also find that alternative hypotheses that have been put forth to explain such crises often do not seem to be supported by the data, such as high current account deficits, excessive capital inflows and loose fiscal policies.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1759.

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Date of creation: 1996
Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1759
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "The capital inflows problem: Concepts and issues," MPRA Paper 13902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  3. Carmen Reinhart & Mohsin S. Khan, 1995. "Capital Flows in the APEC Region," IMF Occasional Papers 122, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1994. "Sterilization of Money Inflows; Difficult (Calvo) or Easy (Reisen)?," IMF Working Papers 94/159, .
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  6. Claessens, Stijn & Dooley, Michael P & Warner, Andrew, 1995. "Portfolio Capital Flows: Hot or Cold?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 153-174, January.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1991. "The Perils of Sterilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 921-926, December.
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  10. Wigmore, Barrie A., 1987. "Was the Bank Holiday of 1933 Caused by a Run on the Dollar?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(03), pages 739-755, September.
  11. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
  12. Atkeson, Andrew & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "The balance of payments and borrowing constraints: An alternative view of the Mexican crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 331-349, November.
  13. Jeffrey J. Frankel and Andrew K. Rose., 1996. "Currency Crashes in Emerging Markets: Empirical Indicators," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-062, University of California at Berkeley.
  14. Carmen M. Reinhart & Sara Calvo, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?," Peterson Institute Press: Chapters, in: Guillermo A. Calvo & Morris Goldstein & Eduard Hochreiter (ed.), Private Capital Flows to Emerging Markets After the Mexican Crisis, pages 151-171 Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  15. Manuel Agosin & Ricardo French-Davis, 1997. "Managing capital inflows in Chile," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 24(2 Year 19), pages 297-326, December.
  16. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
  17. Hernandez, Leonardo & Rudolph, Heinz, 1995. "Sustainability of private capital flows to developing countries : Is a generalized reversal likely?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1518, The World Bank.
  18. Carlos A. Végh Gramont & Guillermo Calvo & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Targeting the Real Exchange Rate; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 94/22, .
  19. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann & Leonardo Leiderman, 1995. "Macroeconomics of Capital Flows to Latin America: Experience and Policy Issues," Research Department Publications 4012, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  20. Robert Brandon Kahn & Adam Bennett & María Vicenta Carkovic S. & Susan M Schadler, 1993. "Recent Experiences with Surges in Capital Inflows," IMF Occasional Papers 108, International Monetary Fund.
  21. 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.
  22. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
  23. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
  24. Corbo, Vittorio & Hernandez, Leonardo, 1994. "Macroeconomic adjustment to capital inflows : Latin American style versus East Asian style," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1377, The World Bank.
  25. Mark M. Spiegel, 1995. "Sterilization of capital inflows through the banking sector: evidence from Asia," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 17-34.
  26. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 1996. "The Roots of Banking Crises: The Macroeconomic Context," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 5819, Inter-American Development Bank.
  27. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Vegh, Carlos, 1994. "Targeting the real exchange rate," MPRA Paper 13765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. repec:idb:wpaper:310 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Steven Riess Weisbrod & Liliana Rojas-Suárez, 1995. "Financial Fragilities in Latin America; The 1980s and 1990s," IMF Occasional Papers 132, International Monetary Fund.
  30. Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann & Leonardo Leiderman, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of Capital Flows to Latin America: Experience and Policy Issues," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 5821, Inter-American Development Bank.
  31. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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