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Financial Liberalization and Volatility in Emerging Market Economies

The recent East Asian crisis has highlighted the relationship between financial development and output volatility. In this essay we develop a simple model of a small open economy producing a tradeable good using a non-tradeable input and where firms access to borrowings and investment depends on current cash flows. We then show, first that macroeconomic volatility only occurs at intermediate levels of financial development; second, that whilst full financial liberalization, including an unrestricted opening to foreign lending, can destabilize an emerging market economy, in contrast output volatility can be avoided if the same economy opens up to foreign direct investment only. We also draw several policy conclusions regarding the adequate responses to financial crises.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 98.02.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming, The Asian Financial Crises: Causes, Contagion and Consequences
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:9802
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  1. Aghion, P. & Hart, O. & Moore, J., 1992. "The Economics of Bankruptcy Reform," Working papers 92-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Moore, John, 1997. "Credit Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 211-48, April.
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  8. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  9. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  10. Corbo, Vittorio & de Melo, Jaime & Tybout, James, 1986. "What Went Wrong with the Recent Reforms in the Southern Cone," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 607-40, April.
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