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Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: An empirical test

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  • De Grauwe, Paul
  • Ji, Yuemei
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    Abstract

    We test the hypothesis that the government bond markets in the Eurozone are more fragile and more susceptible to self-fulfilling liquidity crises than in stand-alone countries. We find evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the peripheral Eurozone countries during 2010–11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt to GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was associated with negative self-fulfilling market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010. We argue that this can drive member countries of the Eurozone into bad equilibria. We also find evidence that after years of neglecting high government debt, investors became increasingly worried about this in the Eurozone, and reacted by raising the spreads. No such worries developed in stand-alone countries despite the fact that debt to GDP ratios and fiscal space variables were equally high and increasing in these countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 15-36

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:15-36

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

    Related research

    Keywords: Eurozone; Government debt; Interest rate; Self-fulfilling crises; Multiple equilibria; Panel data; Lender of last resort;

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    1. Miguel A. Segoviano Basurto & Carlos Caceres & Vincenzo Guzzo, 2010. "Sovereign Spreads," IMF Working Papers 10/120, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Eichengreen, Barry & Mody, Ashoka, 2000. "Lending booms, reserves and the sustainability of short-term debt: inferences from the pricing of syndicated bank loans," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 5-44, October.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Rational and Self-Fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," NBER Working Papers 1486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Edwards, Sebastian, 1986. "The pricing of bonds and bank loans in international markets : An empirical analysis of developing countries' foreign borrowing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 565-589, June.
    5. Gerlach, Stefan & Schulz, Alexander & Wolff, Guntram B., 2010. "Banking and Sovereign Risk in the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 7833, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Schuknecht, Ludger & von Hagen, Jürgen & Wolswijk, Guido, 2009. "Government Bond Risk Premiums in the EU revisited: The Impact of the Financial Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
    8. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
    9. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Gibson, Heather D. & Hall, Stephen G. & Tavlas, George S., 2012. "The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 498-516.
    11. Kopf, Christian, 2011. "Restoring financial stability in the euro area," CEPS Papers 4292, Centre for European Policy Studies.
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