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 examines credibility and reputational factors in explaining the December 1994 crisis of the Mexican peso. After reviewing events leading to the crisis, a model emphasizing the inflation-competitiveness trade-off is presented to explain the formation of devaluation expectations. Estimation results indicate that investors appear to have seriously underestimated the risk of devaluation, despite early warning signals. The collapse of confidence that followed the December 20 devaluation may have been the result of a shift in the perceived commitment of the authorities to exchange rate stability.