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Prospective deficits and the asian currency crisis

  • Burnside, Craig
  • Eichenbaum, Martin
  • Rebelo, Sergio

The authors argue that the recent Asian currency crisis was caused by large prospective fiscal deficits associated with implicit bailout guarantees to failing banking systems. They articulate this view using a simple dynamic general equilibrium model, whose key feature is that a speculative attack is inevitable once the present value of future government deficit rises. This is true regardless of the government's foreign reserves position or the initial level of its debt. The government cannot prevent a speculative attack but it can affect its timing. The longer the delay, the higher inflation will be under flexible exchange rates. The authors present empirical evidence in support of the two key assumptions of their model: 1) Large losses in the banking sector were associated with large increases in Asian governments'prospective deficits. 2) The public knew that the banks were in trouble before the currency crisis.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2174.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2174
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  1. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1998. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1985. "Fiscal Deficits, Exchange Rate Crises and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 87, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Burstein, Ariel Tomas & Neves, Joao C & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2001. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1997. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Working Papers 97/79, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "What caused the Asian currency and financial crisis?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-373, October.
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  15. Feenstra, Robert C, 1985. "Anticipated Devaluations, Currency Flight, and Direct Trade Controls in a Monetary Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 386-401, June.
  16. Rebelo, S. & Xie, D., 1996. "On the Optimality of Interest Rate Smoothing," RCER Working Papers 427, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The mirage of fixed exchange rates," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  18. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  19. Steven Radelet & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The Onset of the East Asian Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 6680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
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  22. Maurice Obstfeld, 1994. "The Logic of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 4640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Morris Goldstein, 1998. "Asian Financial Crisis: Causes, Cures and Systemic Implications, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa55, January.
  24. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Pesenti, Paolo & Roubini, Nouriel, 1999. "Paper tigers?: A model of the Asian crisis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1211-1236, June.
  25. 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.
  26. Dupor, Bill, 2000. "Exchange rates and the fiscal theory of the price level," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 613-630, June.
  27. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, March.
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