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Financial Liberalization and Volatility in Emerging Market Economies

  • Philippe AGHION
  • Philippe BACCHETTA
  • Abhijit BANERJEE

The recent East Asian crisis has highlighted the relationship between financial development and output volatility. In this essay we develop a simple model of a small open economy producing a tradeable good using a non-tradeable input and where firms access to borrowings and investment depends on current cash flows. We then show, first that macroeconomic volatility only occurs at intermediate levels of financial development; second, that whilst full financial liberalization, including an unrestricted opening to foreign lending, can destabilize an emerging market economy, in contrast output volatility can be avoided if the same economy opens up to foreign direct investment only. We also draw several policy conclusions regarding the adequate responses to financial crises.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 9811.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in The Asian Financial Crises : Causes, Contagion and Consequences, Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 167-190 (published under the wrong title "Capital Markets and the Instability of Open Economies")
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:9811
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.20
Web page:

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  1. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Capital flows to Emerging Markets: Liberalization, Overshooting, and Volatility," Working Papers 98.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  2. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
  3. McKinnon, Ronald I & Pill, Huw, 1997. "Credible Economic Liberalizations and Overborrowing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 189-93, May.
  4. Philippe Aghion & Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1992. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," CEP Discussion Papers dp0093, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. 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.
  6. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
  7. Razin, A & Sadka, E & Yuen, C-W, 1997. "A Pecking Order of Capital Inflows and International Tax Principles," Papers 12-97, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  8. Piketty, Thomas & Banerjee, Abhijit & Aghion, Philippe, 1997. "Dualism and macroeconomic volatility," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9720, CEPREMAP.
  9. Corbo, Vittorio & de Melo, Jaime & Tybout, James, 1986. "What Went Wrong with the Recent Reforms in the Southern Cone," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 607-40, April.
  10. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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