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Corruption, composition of capital flows, and currency crises

  • Shang-Jin Wei

Crony capitalism and international creditors'self-fulfilling expectations are often suggested as rival explanations for currency crises. A possible link between the two has not been explored. The author shows one channel through which crony capitalism can increase the chance of a currency/financial crisis by altering the composition of capital inflows. Using data on bilateral foreign direct investment and bilateral bank loans, the author finds clear evidence that in corrupt countries the composition of capital inflows is relatively light in foreign direct investment. Earlier studies indicated that a country with a capital inflow structure is more likely to run into a currency crisis down the road (partly through international creditors'self-fulfilling expectations). Therefore, crony capitalism, through its effect on the composition of a country's capital inflows, makes the country more vulnerable to currency crises brought about by self-fulfilling expectations. Corruption may also weaken domestic financial supervision, with a subsequent deterioration in the quality in banks'and firms'balance sheets.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2429.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2429
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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Ronald I. McKinnon & Huw Pill, 1996. "Credible Liberalizations and International Capital Flows: The "Overborrowing Syndrome"," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Deregulation and Integration in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 5, pages 7-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
  5. McKinnon, Ronald I & Pill, Huw, 1999. "Exchange-Rate Regimes for Emerging Markets: Moral Hazard and International Overborrowing," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 19-38, Autumn.
  6. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  7. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  8. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daniel Kaufmann & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does "Grease Money" Speed Up the Wheels of Commerce?," NBER Working Papers 7093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Yuen, Chi-Wa, 1998. "A pecking order of capital inflows and international tax principles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 45-68, February.
  11. Tornell, Aaron, 1990. "Real vs. financial investment can Tobin taxes eliminate the irreversibility distortion?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 419-444, April.
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