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Currency Crises and Monetary Policy in an Economy with Credit Constraints

  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Bacchetta, Philippe
  • Aghion, Philippe

This paper presents a simple model of currency crises which is driven by the interplay between the credit constraints of private domestic firms and the existence of nominal price rigidities. The possibility of multiple equilibria, including a ‘currency crisis’ equilibrium with low output and a depreciated domestic currency, results from the following mechanism: If nominal prices are ‘sticky’, a currency depreciation leads to an increase in the foreign currency debt repayment obligations of firms, and thus to a fall in their profits; this reduces firms’ borrowing capacity and therefore investment and output in a credit-constrained economy, which in turn reduces the demand for the domestic currency and leads to a depreciation. We examine the impact of various shocks, including productivity, fiscal, or expectational shocks. We then analyze the optimal monetary policy to prevent or solve currency crises. We also argue that currency crises can occur both under fixed and flexible exchange rate regimes as the primary source of crises is the deteriorating balance sheet of private firms.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4554218.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in European Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4554218
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
  2. Garber, Peter M. & Svensson, Lars E.O., 1995. "The operation and collapse of fixed exchange rate regimes," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 1865-1911 Elsevier.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Bacchetta & Abhijit Banerjee, 1999. "Capital Markets and the Instability of Open Economies," Working Papers 99.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  4. Bensaid, Bernard & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "The instability of fixed exchange rate systems when raising the nominal interest rate is costly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1461-1478, August.
  5. Baig, Taimur & Goldfajn, Ilan, 2002. "Monetary Policy in the Aftermath of Currency Crises: The Case of Asia," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 92-112, February.
  6. Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 1999. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," Documentos de Trabajo 59, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  7. E Falcetti & S Milner, 1999. "The Currency Denomination of Public Debt and the Choice of the Monetary Regime," CEP Discussion Papers dp0427, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Seppo Honkapohja & Erkki Koskela, 1999. "The economic crisis of the 1990s in Finland," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 399-436, October.
  9. Robert Flood & Nancy Marion, 1998. "Perspectives on the Recent Currency Crisis Literature," NBER Working Papers 6380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeanne, Olivier, 2000. "Foreign currency debt and the global financial architecture," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 719-727, May.
  11. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
  12. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Flood, Robert P. & Jeanne, Olivier, 2005. "An interest rate defense of a fixed exchange rate?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 471-484, July.
  14. Ilan Goldfajn & Poonam Gupta, 1999. "Does monetary policy stabilize the exchange rate following a currency crisis?," Textos para discussão 396, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  15. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  18. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-60, June.
  19. Philippe Bacchetta, 2000. "Monetary Policy with Foreign Currency Debt," Working Papers 00.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  20. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
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  22. Philippe AGHION & Philippe BACCHETTA & Abhijit BANERJEE, 1999. "A Simple Model of Monetary Policy and Currency Crises," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9914, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  23. Henning Bohn, . "A Positive Theory of Foreign Currency Debt," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 19-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  24. Piketty, Thomas & Banerjee, Abhijit & Aghion, Philippe, 1999. "Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility," Scholarly Articles 4554124, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Jason Furman & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1998. "Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 1-136.
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  28. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
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