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Political Contagion in Currency Crises

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  • Allan Drazen

Abstract

Existing models of contagious currency crises are summarized and surveyed, and it is argued that more weight should be put on political factors. Towards this end, the concept of political contagion introduced, whereby contagion in speculative attacks across currencies arises solely because of political objectives of countries. A specific model of membership' contagion is presented. The desire to be part of a political-economic union, where maintaining a fixed exchange rate is a condition for membership and where the value of membership depends positively on who else is a member, is shown to give rise to potential contagion. We then present evidence suggesting that political contagion may have been important in the 1992-3 EMS crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Allan Drazen, 1999. "Political Contagion in Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 7211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7211
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    1. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1995. "Contagious speculative attacks," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 45-63, March.
    2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    3. Bartolini, Leonardo & Drazen, Allan, 1997. "Capital-Account Liberalization as a Signal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 138-154, March.
    4. Ozkan, F Gulcin & Sutherland, Alan, 1995. "Policy Measures to Avoid a Currency Crisis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 510-519, March.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    6. Bensaid, Bernard & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "The instability of fixed exchange rate systems when raising the nominal interest rate is costly," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1461-1478, August.
    7. Allan Drazen & Paul R. Masson, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 735-754.
    8. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    9. Martin Feldstein, 1997. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 23-42, Fall.
    10. Allan Drazen & Elhanan Helpman, 1987. "Stabilization with Exchange Rate Management," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 835-855.
    11. 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.
    12. Masson, Paul R, 1995. "Gaining and Losing ERM Credibility: The Case of the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 571-582, May.
    13. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1993. "The Unstable EMS," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 51-144.
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    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General

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