NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Business Cycles of Balance-of-Payment Crises: A Revision of Mundellan Framework

Enrique G. Mendoza, Martin Uribe

NBER Working Paper No. 7045
Issued in March 1999
NBER Program(s):   IFM

In his seminal 1960 article Robert Mundell proposed a model of balance-of-payments crises in which confidence in the continuation of a currency peg depended on the observed holdings of central bank foreign reserves. We examine the implications of a reformulation of this view from the perspective of an equilibrium business cycle model in which the probability of devaluation is an endogenous variable conditioned on foreign reserves. The model explains some business cycle regularities of exchange-rate-based stabilizations while also producing devaluation probabilities that capture some features of devaluation probabilities estimated in the data. The analysis aims to explain both the real effects and the collapse of temporary fixed-exchange-rate regimes in an unified framework, and provides an economic interpretation for the evidence that foreign reserves are a robust leading indicator of currency crises.

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Published: Money, Capital Mobility and Trade: Essays in Honor of Robert A. Mundell, Calvo, G., R. Dorubusch and M. Obstfeld, eds., Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000, forthcoming.

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