Making Explosive Cocktails: recipes and costs for 26 Crises from 1823 to 2003
Crises, like “explosive cocktails” are made by mixing powerful ingredients. Argentina has made 26 “explosive cocktails” since 1823. How many ingredients are needed to make an “explosive cocktail”? Which are these ingredients? Which is the most expensive mix? This paper attempts to identify the different recipes that ended up in economic crisis throughout argentine economic history by means of the regression tree analysis technique. The paper also measures Argentina’s crises costs in terms output losses. We follow the methodology used by the IMF (1998), that is, computing cumulative output lost relative to trend. It is found that there are four explosive mixes, having Fiscal Deficit, Real Exchange Rate Overvaluation, Bank Deposit growth rate decline and the ratio of External Debt to Exports as the key ingredients. The most frequent crises are those having high fiscal deficit; though average cost is higher for crises mixing moderate fiscal with strong decline in Real Bank Deposits, presumably entailing banking crises.
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