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.
We construct a financial vulnerability indicator that is consistent with the theoretical literature on determinants of defaults. It is based on the amount of new foreign financing that is needed to avoid a default or an import adjustment, expressed as a proportion of the country's sources of foreign currency. As the need for new foreign financing increases, so does a country's financial vulnerability. The indicator has a higher correlation with default episodes than other indicators used in previous studies. In addition, the level at which it leads to a high probability of default is comparable across countries.