Accounting for Crises
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics (Forthcoming)
59 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2008 Last revised: 13 Nov 2013
Date Written: August 1, 2013
We provide one of the first empirical evidence consistent with recent macro global-game crisis models, which show that the precision of public signals can coordinate crises (e.g., Angeletos and Werning 2006; Morris and Shin 2002, 2003). In these models, self-fulfilling crises (independent of poor fundamentals) can occur only when publicly disclosed signals of fundamentals have high precision; poor fundamentals are the sole driver of crises only in low precision settings. We find evidence consistent with this proposition for 68 currency and systemic banking crises in 17 countries from 1983-2005. We exploit a key publicly-disclosed signal of fundamentals that drives financial markets, namely accounting data, and find that pre-crisis accounting signals of fundamentals are significantly lower only in low precision countries.
JEL Classification: M41, M47, E44, D81, F30, F36, F41, G12
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