Economic Theory

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 811–837 | Cite as

Domestic financial market frictions, unrestricted international capital flows, and crises in small open economies



We present an example of a small open economy where small increases in the world interest rate may induce a sharp decline in output and a precipitous depreciation of the exchange rate. Due to a costly state verification problem in domestic credit markets, combined with unrestricted international capital flows, our economy generates two long-run equilibria, one with low GDP and a relatively depreciated real exchange rate (RER), and one with high GDP and a relatively appreciated RER. The first is always a saddle, while the second may be a sink or a source, depending on the level of the world interest rate. A “crisis” is identified with the economy switching from an equilibrium path approaching the high-output steady state to the saddlepath approaching the low-output steady state. In Mexico’s recent history, periods of growth associated with appreciation of the RER have alternated with periods of sharp contraction and depreciation of the RER. Our economy displays such behavior in response to changes in the world interest rate.

Keywords and Phrases:

Financial market frictions International financial crises Real exchange rate Nominal exchange rate Capital accumulation. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.World BankWashingtonUSA

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