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Sudden Stops and Currency Drops: A Historical Look

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  • Mr. Luis Catão

Abstract

This paper shows that recent manifestations of sudden stops (SSs) in international capital flows have striking parallels in the early financial globalization era preceding World War I. All main capital-importing countries then faced episodic capital flow reversals averaging some 5 percent of GDP and with a median duration of four years. Most SSs also displayed striking crosscountry synchronization, being immediately preceded by rising world interest rates. Both fixed and floating exchange rate regimes were hit, with no significant differences between them. Yet, not all SSs resulted in currency drops: while some countries experienced currency collapses, others managed to preserve exchange rate stability. These different responses are related to domestic "frictions" that heightened the procyclicality of absorption and hindered precautionary reserve accumulation in some countries relative to others.

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  • Mr. Luis Catão, 2006. "Sudden Stops and Currency Drops: A Historical Look," IMF Working Papers 2006/133, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2006/133
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    Cited by:

    1. Rui Esteves, 2011. "The Political Economy of Global Financial Liberalisation in Historical Perspective," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _089, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Piersanti, Giovanni, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Theory of Exchange Rate Crises," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653126.
    3. Sandeep Kapur & Ms. Ana L Fostel & Mr. Luis Catão, 2007. "Persistent Gaps, Volatility Types, and Default Traps," IMF Working Papers 2007/148, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Pittaluga, Giovanni B. & Seghezza, Elena, 2016. "How Japan remained on the Gold Standard despite unsustainable external debt," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 40-54.
    5. Mr. Luis Catão & Mr. George A Mackenzie, 2006. "Perspectiveson Low Global Interest Rates," IMF Working Papers 2006/076, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Michael D. Bordo, 2006. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Original Sin in Emerging Countries: Déjà vu?," NBER Working Papers 12393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Marcos Chamon & Paolo Manasse & Alessandro Prati, 2007. "Can We Predict the Next Capital Account Crisis?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 270-305, June.
    8. Rui P. Esteves, 2011. "The Political Economy of Global Financial Liberalisation in Historical Perspective," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _089, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

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