Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis

54 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2000 Last revised: 5 Jan 2002

See all articles by A. Craig Burnside

A. Craig Burnside

Duke University - Department of Economics; University of Glasgow - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Martin Eichenbaum

Northwestern University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sergio T. Rebelo

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1998

Abstract

This paper argues that the recent Southeast Asian currency crisis was caused by large prospective deficits associated with implicit bailout guarantees to failing banking systems. We 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 deficits rises. This is true regardless of the government's foreign reserve position or the initial level of its debt. While the government cannot prevent a speculative attack, it can affect its timing. The longer the delay, the higher inflation will be under flexible exchange rates. We present empirical evidence in support of the three key assumptions in our model: (i) foreign reserves did not play a special role in the timing of the attack, (ii) large losses in the banking sector were associated with large increases in governments' prospective deficits, and (iii) the public knew that banks were in trouble before the currency crisis.

Suggested Citation

Burnside, Craig and Eichenbaum, Martin and Tavares Rebelo, Sergio, Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis (October 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6758. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226383

Craig Burnside (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Glasgow - Department of Economics

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Martin Eichenbaum

Northwestern University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Sergio Tavares Rebelo

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
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Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-467-2329 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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