ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Analytics of the Asian Crisis

The Asian Financial Crisis: Causes, Contagion and Consequences edited by Pierre-Richard Agenor, Marcus Miller, David Vines and Axel Weber; Cambridge University Press, 1999; pp 417.

The east Asian crisis was most unexpected. The severity of the crisis and the speed with which it spread to many countries took everyone by surprise. The economic and social consequences of the crisis have necessarily been the subject of many studies. The volume under review is a collection of articles and covers almost all aspects of the crisis including, as the title puts it, the causes, contagion and consequences. Most of the articles have more than one author. The empirical evidence is well marshalled and the analytical rigour is maintained throughout. Scholars must be grateful to the editors and publishers for bringing together such a fine collection of essays on the east Asian crisis. Several viewpoints emerge, even though one can detect an underlying unity of thought.

The volume contains four parts. Part one, which includes four chapters, presents a factual and analytical overview of what happened. The main focus is on the role of vulnerability and how it got built up. Part two contains three theoretical chapters dealing with the impact of inflation of non-traded goods, welfare effects of capital inflows and the timing of the onset of crisis. Part three presents three essays dealing with several aspects of contagion such as the channels through which contagion spreads and the regional aspects of contagion. Part four addresses policy issues including the reform of the international financial institutions and control of capital flows and international capital markets. Thus, in substance, these chapters deal with the causes both proximate and deep seated, the analytics of the spread of the crisis from one country to another and finally some answers towards crisis prevention.

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