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Do High Interest Rates Defend Currencies During Speculative Attacks? New Evidence

  • Benedikt Goderis
  • Vasso P. Ioannidou

The appropriate stance of monetary policy during speculative attacks has been the source of much controversy. According to the `traditional view`, a tighter monetary policy is necessary to discourage the outflow of capital, and thus prevent the exchange rate from depreciating. The `revisionist view` argues that when speculative attacks are accompanied by substantial balance-sheet problems in the private sector, a tightening of monetary policy may actually increase the probability of devaluation. In this paper we construct a dataset that includes data on corporate short-term debt and country-specific indicators of monetary policy for countries with fixed exchange-rate regimes that faced severe speculation against their currency during the period 1986-2002. The results show that for levels of short-term debt that are not too high, an increase in interest rates decreases the probability of a currency crisis - supportive of the traditional view. This effect decreases, and eventually changes sign for higher levels of debt - supportive of the revisionist view.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2006-11.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2006-11
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  1. Benedikt Goderis & Vasso P. Ioannidou, 2006. "Do High Interest Rates Defend Currencies During Speculative Attacks? New Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2006-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Ilan Goldfajn & Poonam Gupta, 2003. "Does Monetary Policy Stabilize the Exchange Rate Following a Currency Crisis?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 5.
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Mackowiak, Bartosz, 2006. "Fiscal imbalances and the dynamics of currency crises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1317-1338, July.
  4. Ashoka Mody & Diego Saravia, 2006. "Catalysing Private Capital Flows: Do IMF Programmes Work as Commitment Devices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 843-867, 07.
  5. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2006. "Catalytic finance: When does it work?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 161-177, September.
  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. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
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  9. Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Do high interest rates defend currencies during speculative attacks?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 297-321, March.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48, February.
  11. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "The East Asian Financial Crisis: Diagnosis, Remedies, Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 1-90.
  12. Amartya Lahiri & Carlos A. Vegh, 2003. "Delaying the Inevitable: Interest Rate Defense and Balance of Payments Crises," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 404-424, April.
  13. Daniel, Betty C, 2001. "A Fiscal Theory of Currency Crises," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 969-88, November.
  14. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," NBER Working Papers 11370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B & Neyapti, Bilin, 1992. "Measuring the Independence of Central Banks and Its Effect on Policy Outcomes," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 353-98, September.
  16. Lestano & Jacobs, Jan & Kuper, Gerard H., 2003. "Indicators of financial crises do work! : an early-warning system for six Asian countries," CCSO Working Papers 200313, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  17. Flood, Robert P & Jeanne, Olivier, 2000. "An Interest Rate Defence of a Fixed Exchange Rate?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Cipollini, Andrea & Demetriades, Panicos O., 2005. "Monetary policy and the exchange rate during the Asian crisis: identification through heteroscedasticity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 39-53, February.
  19. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2000. "The Impact of Monetary Policyon the Exchange Rate; Evidence From Three Small Open Economies," IMF Working Papers 00/141, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Jason Furman & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1998. "Economic Crises: Evidence and Insights from East Asia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 1-136.
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