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 studies large reductions in current account deficits and exchange rate depreciations in low- and middle-income countries. It examines which factors help predict the occurrence of a reversal or a currency crisis, and how these events affect macroeconomic performance. Both domestic factors, such as the low reserves, and external factors, such as unfavorable terms of trade, are found to trigger reversals and currency crises. The two types of events are, however, distinct; an exchange rate crash is associated with a fall in output growth and a recovery thereafter, while for reversals there is no systematic evidence of a growth slowdown.