Agency conflict and the signalling snafu in the Mexican peso conflict of 1994

Clark, Ephraim A. (2000) Agency conflict and the signalling snafu in the Mexican peso conflict of 1994. International journal of public administration, 23 (5-8). pp. 837-876. ISSN 0190-0692

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Abstract

In this paper I explore the role of signalling in the agency conflict that pits national governments against international lenders in the Mexican peso crisis of 1994. (The term international lenders includes domestic residents with the capacity to invest abroad.) I give evidence for the conventional conclusion that Mexico's underlying economic and financial situation did not warrant the humiliating treatment inflicted on it by the international financial markets. The humiliating treatment, however, was not a mindless overreaction to suddenly perceived changes in the country's political fragility. On the contrary, I show that the country's evolving political fiagility was recognized and compensated for as far back as 1991. It was rather the result of a rational reevaluation of the costs of the agency conflict that is inherent in the relationship between national governments and international lenders and the power of national governments through moratoriums, repudiation, or default to subordinate the claims of international lenders to those of domestic agents. I model the conflict as a government held option to default and introduce signalling by assuming that the Mexican government had monopolistic information on the economy's true situation. I then give evidence that the agency costs were reevaluated when it became clear that the Mexican government had been sending false signals to the international investment community and that these false signals had made it possible for Mexico to borrow close to or beyond the point where default was the optimal financial strategy.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business > Finance & Accounting
ID Code:1166
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Deposited On:23 Feb 2009 16:53
Last Modified:03 Mar 2014 08:22

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