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Learning to forget? Contagion and political risk in Brazil

By Marcus Miller, Kannika Thampanishvong and Lei Zhang

Abstract

We examine whether Brazilian sovereign spreads of over 20 percent in 2002 could be due to contagion from Argentina or to domestic politics, or both. Treating unilateral debt restructuring as a policy variable gives rise to the possibility of self-fulfilling crisis, which can be triggered by contagion. We explore an alternative political-economy explanation of panic in financial markets inspired by Alesina (1987), which stresses exaggerated market fears of an untried Left-wing candidate. To account for the fall of sovereign spreads since the election, we employ a model of Bayesian learning and analyse the effects of contagion and IMF commitments

Topics: F1201, HJ
Publisher: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2007

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