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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

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United States interest rates, Latin American debt and financial contagion

This article analyses the way in which Latin American bond spreads were affected by the changes in United States interest rates in the second half of the 1990s. Empirical analysis shows that, contrary to theory, in this period the spreads of emerging market bonds and United States interest rates moved in opposite directions; that there was financial contagion; that contraction of liquidity and financial contagion can offset the effects of those interest rates on the spreads of emerging market bonds at times of economic and financial turbulence and thus become the most important factors in the evolution of those spreads; and that the increased financial integration associated with the current globalization process has heightened the vulnerability of the developing economies to external shocks.

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