IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

User's Guide to an Early Warning System for Macroeconomic Vulnerability in Latin American Countries


  • Santiago Herrera

    (The World Bank)

  • Conrado A. Garcia

    (The World Bank)


The object of this paper is to develop an Early Warning System of Macro Vulnerability for several Latin American countries based on previous work of Kaminsky, Lizondo and Reinhart (1997) and Kaminsky (1998). We build a composite leading indicator that signals macroeconomic vulnerability, showing that, historically, crises tend to happen in these “vulnerable” situations. The main differences with Kaminsky’s approach are, 1) we use a reduced set of variables to generate the signals, 2) the variables were first aggregated and then the signal was issued depending on the behavior of the composite index, as opposed to Kaminsky’s procedure of generating signals with each individual variable and then aggregating these. The results are very satisfactory on the statistical and operational fronts: on the statistical side, Type I and Type II errors are smaller than those reported in previous papers. Operationally, this system of leading indicators is less costly to maintain given the reduced set of primary variables involved, their wide-spread availability and the timeliness with which they are reported. The models’ out-of-sample predictive ability are tested with plenty of crises cases occurring after the first stage of this project was finished: Colombia (September, 1998), Brazil (January, 1999), and Ecuador (February,1999). All the cases were correctly anticipated by the signals of vulnerability issued by the models. Additionally, Mexico’s models , estimated with information available two years before the crisis, show that these signaling devices would have been useful anticipating the 1994 crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Santiago Herrera & Conrado A. Garcia, 2000. "User's Guide to an Early Warning System for Macroeconomic Vulnerability in Latin American Countries," Macroeconomics 0004011, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004011
    Note: Type of Document - Word; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP;

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    early warning system; Latin America; speculative pressure; macroeconomic vulnerability; currency crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.