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Currency crises in Russia and other transition economies

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Keywords
  • O24 - Trade Policy
  • Factor Movement Policy
  • Foreign Exchange Policy
  • F3 - International Finance

Abstract

In recent years currency crises affected not only Southeast Asian countries, but transition economies as well. The Russian crisis of August 1998 was perhaps the most spectacular example, but it was preceded by currency crises in Bulgaria and Romania in 1996-97, in Ukraine and Belarus in 1997-98 and followed by the currency crisis in Kyrghyzstan and Georgia in late 1998, and in Kazakhstan in early 1999. Were these crises the result of financial contagion spreading in the global economy? Or were they of "the national making", but caused by reasons similar to that in Southeast Asia? The paper argues that neither of the above explanations is true and embraces a third explanation: currency crises in transition economies resulted mostly from domestic policy mistakes, but of different nature than those in Southeast Asia.

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