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Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates

  • Christian Hellwig
  • Arijit Mukherji
  • Aleh Tsyvinski

We develop a stylized currency crises model with heterogeneous information among investors and endogenous determination of interest rates in a noisy rational expectations equilibrium. Our model captures three key features of interest rates: the opportunity cost of attacking the currency responds to the investors' behavior; the domestic interest rate may influence the central bank's preferences for a fixed exchange rate; and the domestic interest rate serves as a public signal which aggregates private information about fundamentals. We explore the payoff and informational channels through which interest rates determine devaluation outcomes, and examine the implications for equilibrium selection by global games methods. Our main conclusion is that multiplicity is not an artifact of common knowledge. In particular, we show that multiplicity emerges robustly, either when a devaluation is triggered by the cost of high domestic interest rates as in Obstfeld (1996), or when a devaluation is triggered by the central bank's loss of foreign reserves as in Obstfeld (1986), provided that the domestic asset supply is sufficiently elastic in the interest rate and shocks to the domestic bond supply are sufficiently small.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11191.

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Date of creation: Mar 2005
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Publication status: published as Christian Hellwig & Arijit Mukherji & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1769-1787, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11191
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  1. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Discussion Papers 1400, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Mathias Dewatripont & Lars Peter Hansen & Stephen J. Turnowsky, 2003. "Advances in economics and econometrics: Theory and Applications, Eighth World Congress," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/175994, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Flood, Robert P. & Garber, Peter M., 1984. "Collapsing exchange-rate regimes : Some linear examples," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 1-13, August.
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  6. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2004. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Role of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 10387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hellwig, Christian, 2002. "Public Information, Private Information, and the Multiplicity of Equilibria in Coordination Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 191-222, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chari, V. V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2004. "Financial crises as herds: overturning the critiques," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 128-150, November.
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  12. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Rational and Self-Fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," NBER Working Papers 1486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  14. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  15. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
  16. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Coordination and Policy Traps," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000294, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2000. "Global Games: Theory and Applications," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1275R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2001.
  18. Hellwig, Martin F., 1980. "On the aggregation of information in competitive markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-498, June.
  19. Gerard Gennotte and Hayne Leland., 1989. "Market Liquidity, Hedging and Crashes," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-184, University of California at Berkeley.
  20. Carlsson, H. & Van Damme, E., 1990. "Global Games And Equilibrium Selection," Papers 9052, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  21. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  22. Sanford J. Grossman, 1977. "The Existence of Futures Markets, Noisy Rational Expectations and Informational Externalities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 431-449.
  23. Barlevy, Gadi & Veronesi, Pietro, 2003. "Rational panics and stock market crashes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 234-263, June.
  24. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2004. "Information Dynamics and Equilibrium Multiplicity in Global Games of Regime Change," NBER Working Papers 11017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Nikola A. Tarashev, 2003. "Currency Crises and the Informational Role of Interest Rates," BIS Working Papers 135, Bank for International Settlements.
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