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The Baring Crisis and the Great Latin American Meltdown of the 1890s

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  • Kris James Mitchener
  • Marc D. Weidenmier

Abstract

The Baring Crisis is the nineteenth century's most famous sovereign debt crisis. Few studies, however, have attempted to understand the extent to which the crisis mattered for countries other than Argentina and England. Using a new database consisting of more than 15,000 observations of weekly sovereign debt prices, we assess the extent to which the Barings Crisis affected other emerging market borrowers and find empirical evidence of a regional crisis. We find that Latin American yield spreads increased by more than 200 basis points during the crisis relative to the rest of the world, even after controlling for macroeconomic, trade, political-institutional factors, and other country-specific effects. Our evidence suggests that European investors may have sold off or reduced their holdings of Latin American securities in the wake of the Baring Crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2007. "The Baring Crisis and the Great Latin American Meltdown of the 1890s," NBER Working Papers 13403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13403
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chambers, David & Esteves, Rui, 2014. "The first global emerging markets investor: Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust 1880–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-21.
    2. Accominotti, Olivier & Flandreau, Marc & Rezzik, Riad & Zumer, Frédéric, 2008. "Black Man’s Burden: Measured Philanthropy in the British Empire, 1880-1913," CEPR Discussion Papers 6811, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sebastián Saiegh, 2013. "Political institutions and sovereign borrowing: evidence from nineteenth-century Argentina," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 61-75, July.
    4. Filippo Cesarano & Giulio Cifarelli & Gianni Toniolo, 2009. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Reserve Policy on the Periphery: The Italian Lira 1883-1911," Working Papers - Economics wp2009_11.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    5. Filippo Cesarano & Giulio Cifarelli & Gianni Toniolo, 2012. "Exchange Rate Regimes and Reserve Policy: The Italian Lira, 1883–1911," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 253-275, April.
    6. Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 18814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Amélia Branco & Nuno Valério & Rita Martins de Sousa, 2012. "Echoes from the Past: Portuguese Stabilizations of the 1890S and 1920S," Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History 2012/47, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa.
    8. Chung-Fu Lai, 2014. "The Choice of Exchange-rate Regime in the Framework of New Open Economy Macroeconomics," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 1-35, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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