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A Theory of the Onset of Currency Attacks

  • Hyun Song Shin
  • Stephen Morris

The swiftness and devastating impact of recent financial crises have taken many market participants by surprise, and pose challenges for economists seeking a theory of the onset of a crisis. We propose such a theory based on two features. The actions of diverse economic actors which undermine the currency are mutually reinforcing, while the fragmented nature of the media create small disparities in their information. In such circumstances, the beliefs of market participants can be tracked in the same way as the economic fundamentals, and an attack is triggered when the economic fundamentals deteriorate sufficiently to fall below the minimum level of market confidence necessary to support the currency. We give a characterization of such a minimum level of confidence.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 1998-W20.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 1998
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:1998-w20
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  1. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154416 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1988. "Common knowledge," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 118, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, . "Approximate Common Knowledge and Co-ordination: Recent Lessons from Game Theory," CARESS Working Papres 97-8, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Hali J. Edison & Pongsak Luangaram & Marcus Miller, 1998. "Asset bubbles, domino effects and 'lifeboats': elements of the East Asian crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 606, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  8. Hans Carlsson & Eric van Damme, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001088, David K. Levine.
  9. W. R. M. Perraudin & Manmohan S. Kumar & Uma Moorthy, 2002. "Predicting Emerging Market Currency Crashes," IMF Working Papers 02/7, International Monetary Fund.
  10. 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.
  11. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1981. "Gold monetization and gold discipline," International Finance Discussion Papers 190, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Monderer, Dov & Samet, Dov, 1989. "Approximating common knowledge with common beliefs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 170-190, June.
  14. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-48, August.
  15. Stephen W. Salant & Dale W. Henderson, 1976. "Market anticipations, government policy, and the price of gold," International Finance Discussion Papers 81, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Shin Hyun Song, 1993. "Logical Structure of Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-13, June.
  17. Atsushi Kajii & Stephen Morris, 1997. "The Robustness of Equilibria to Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1283-1310, November.
  18. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
  20. Carlsson, H. & Van Dame, E., 1991. "Equilibrium Selection in Stag Hunt Games," Papers 9170, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  21. 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.
  22. Morris, Stephen & Rob, Rafael & Shin, Hyun Song, 1995. "Dominance and Belief Potential," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 145-57, January.
  23. van Damme, E.E.C., 1991. "Equilibrium selection in 2 x 2 games," Other publications TiSEM 1c09a228-43e3-48ec-ad9c-0, School of Economics and Management.
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