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External Liabilities and Crises

Author/Editor: Catão, Luis | Milesi-Ferretti, Gian-Maria
Authorized for Distribution: May 16, 2013
Electronic Access: Free Full Text (PDF file size is 1,154KB)
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Summary: We examine the determinants of external crises, focusing on the role of foreign liabilities and their composition. Using a variety of statistical tools and comprehensive data spanning 1970-2011, we find that the ratio of net foreign liabilities (NFL) to GDP is a significant crisis predictor, and the more so when it exceeds 50 percent in absolute terms and 20 percent of the country-specific historical mean. This is primarily due to net external debt--the effect of net equity liabilities is weaker and net FDI liabilities seem if anything an offset factor. We also find that: i) breaking down net external debt into its gross asset and liability counterparts does not add significant explanatory power to crisis prediction; ii) the current account is a powerful predictor, either measured unconditionally or as deviations from conventionally estimated “norms”; iii) foreign exchange reserves reduce the likelihood of crisis more than other foreign asset holdings; iv) a parsimonious probit containing those and a handful of other variables has good predictive performance in- and out-of-sample. The latter result stems largely from our focus on external crises stricto sensu.
 
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Series: Working Paper No. 13/113
Subject(s): External debt | Financial crisis | Current account | Foreign exchange | Foreign direct investment | Economic models
 
English  
    Published:   May 16, 2013        
    ISBN/ISSN:   9781484315910/2227-8885   Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   WPIEA2013113   Pages:   37
    Price:   US$18.00
       
     
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