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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

    This paper tests the hypothesis that 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 PIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) in the eurozone during 2010-11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt-to-GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was the result of 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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    File URL: http://www.ceps.eu/system/files/WD%20No%20367%20PDG%20%2526%20YJ%20Empirical%20Test%20Fragility%20Eurozone_0.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for European Policy Studies in its series CEPS Papers with number 7085.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:eps:cepswp:7085

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    1. Michael G. Arghyrou & Alexandros Kontonikas, 2010. "The EMU sovereign-debt crisis: Fundamentals, expectations and contagion," Working Papers 2010_25, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    2. Boehmer, Ekkehart & Megginson, William L, 1990. " Determinants of Secondary Market Prices for Developing Country Syndicated Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1517-40, December.
    3. Heather D. Gibson & Stephan G. Hall & George S. Tavlas, 2011. "The Greek financial crisis: growing imbalances and sovereign spreads," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/25, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    4. Miguel A. Segoviano Basurto & Carlos Caceres & Vincenzo Guzzo, 2010. "Sovereign Spreads," IMF Working Papers 10/120, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
    6. von Hagen, Jürgen & Schuknecht, Ludger & Wolswijk, Guido, 2011. "Government bond risk premiums in the EU revisited: The impact of the financial crisis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 36-43, March.
    7. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
    9. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Alessandro Girardi, 2011. "Fiscal Spillovers in the Euro Area," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1164, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Eichengreen, Barry & Mody, Ashoka, 1999. "Lending booms, reserves, and the sustainability of short-term debt - inferences from the pricing of syndicated bank loans," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2155, The World Bank.
    11. De Grauwe, Paul, 2011. "Governance of a Fragile Eurozone," CEPS Papers 5523, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Giovanni Calice & RongHui Miao & Filip Sterba & Borek Vasicek, 2013. "Short-Term Determinants of the Idiosyncratic Sovereign Risk Premium: A Regime-Dependent Analysis for European Credit Default Swaps," Working Papers 2013/13, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    2. Gärtner, Manfred & Griesbach, Björn, 2012. "Rating agencies, self-fulfilling prophecy and multiple equilibria? An empirical model of the European sovereign debt crisis 2009-2011," Economics Working Paper Series 1215, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. Mario Sarcinelli, 2013. "The European Banking Union: Will It Be a True Union without Risk Sharing?," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 66(265), pages 137-167.
    4. Westermann, Frank & Steinkamp, Sven, 2013. "On Creditor Seniority and Sovereign Bond Prices in Europe," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79848, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Roberto Tamborini, 2012. "Market opinions, fundamentals and the euro-sovereign debt crisis," Department of Economics Working Papers 1210, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

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