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A Primer on Emerging Market Crises

  • Rudi Dornbusch

Over the past 20 years there has been a proliferation of emerging market crises and a vast accumulation of commentary -- descriptive, theoretical and applied -- highlighting the origins and mechanics of each crisis and of crises in general. And there is plenty of analysis on how to deal with crises both in terms of prevention and of cures. Is it possible now to distill from all this a simple set of propositions that summarize the experience and capture the chief lessons? This paper sets out a few propositions that summarize what is known and accepted. The interest in doing so is to promote a set of presumptions about what is unsound practice with a presumption that it cannot fail to engender, in time, a crisis. At the center of that discussion is the role of balance sheets. Moreover, crises are not just financial experiences but rather involve large and lasting social costs and important redistribution of income and wealth. That makes it especially important to secure agreement on what constitutes bad practice and identify areas of continuing controversy.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8326.

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Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as A Primer on Emerging-Market Crises , Rudi Dornbusch. in Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets , Edwards and Frankel. 2002
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8326
Note: IFM
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  1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1999. "Currency and Banking Crises: The Early Warnings of Distress," IMF Working Papers 99/178, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael R., 1997. "Disorganization," Scholarly Articles 3659691, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Rudiger W. Dornbusch, 1998. "After Asia: new directions for the international financial system," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 177-186.
  5. Jeanne, Olivier, 1999. "Currency Crises: A Perspective on Recent Theoretical Developments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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