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Negative Alchemy? Corruption, Composition of Capital Flows, and Currency Crises

  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Yi Wu

Crony capitalism and self-fulfilling expectations by international creditors are often suggested as two rival explanations for currency crisis. This paper examines a possible linkage between the two that has not been explored much in the literature: corruption may affect a country's composition of capital inflows in a way that makes it more likely to experience a currency crisis that is triggered/aided by a sudden reversal of international capital flows. We find robust evidence that poor public governance is associated with a higher loan-to-FDI ratio. Such a composition of capital flows has been identified as being associated with a higher incidence of a currency crisis. We also find some weaker evidence that poor public governance is associated with a country's inability to borrow internationally in its own currency. The latter is also associated with a higher incidence of a currency crisis. To sum up, even though crony capitalism does not forecast the timing of a crisis, it can nevertheless increase its likelihood. This paper illustrates a particular channel through which this can happen.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8187.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Publication status: published as Negative Alchemy? Corruption, Composition of Capital Flows, and Currency Crises , Shang-Jin Wei, Yi Wu. in Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets , Edwards and Frankel. 2002
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8187
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  1. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Why Does China Attract So Little Foreign Direct Investment?," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in East Asian Economic Development, NBER-EASE Volume 9, pages 239-265 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
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  16. Smarzynska, Beata K. & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Corruption and the composition of foreign direct investment - firm-level evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2360, The World Bank.
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  18. Takatoshi Ito & Anne O. Krueger, 2000. "The Role of Foreign Direct Investment in East Asian Economic Development, NBER-EASE Volume 9," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_00-2, March.
  19. Beata K. Smarzynska & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Corruption and Composition of Foreign Direct Investment: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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