The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyzes and tests the influence of political instability on economic vulnerability in the context of the 1994 and 1997 crises episodes. It constructs four political variables that aim at quantifying political instability. The paper finds that for countries with weak economic fundamentals and low reserves, political instability has a strong impact on economic vulnerability. The estimation results suggest that including political variables in economic models does improve their power to explain and predict economic crises. The paper concludes that countries are more economically vulnerable during and especially following election periods, and when election results are less stable than at other times.