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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
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4554218
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  4. 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.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2000. "A simple model of monetary policy and currency crises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 728-738, May.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Abhijit Banerjee & Thomas Piketty, 1999. "Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1359-1397.
  7. 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.
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  9. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 1999. "Capital Markets and the Instability of Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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).
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  19. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Working Papers 95-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  21. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
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  24. Philippe Bacchetta, 2000. "Monetary Policy with Foreign Currency Debt," Working Papers 00.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  25. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  26. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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