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Gambling for redemption and self-fulfilling debt crises

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  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Timothy J. Kehoe

Abstract

We develop a model for analyzing the sovereign debt crises of 2010–2012 in the Eurozone. The government sets its expenditure-debt policy optimally. The need to sell large quantities of bonds every period leaves the government vulnerable to self-fulfilling crises in which investors, anticipating a crisis, are unwilling to buy the bonds, thereby provoking the crisis. In this situation, the optimal policy of the government is to reduce its debt to a level where crises are not possible. If, however, the economy is in a recession where there is a positive probability of recovery in fiscal revenues, the government may optimally choose to “gamble for redemption,” running deficits and increasing its debt, thereby increasing its vulnerability to crises.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 465.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:465

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  1. Broner, Fernando A. & Lorenzoni, Guido & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2004. "Why do emerging economies borrow short term?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3389, The World Bank.
  2. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2008. "Default and the maturity structure in sovereign bonds," Staff Report 410, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
  4. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. 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.
  6. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
  7. Chamley Christophe P & Pinto Brian, 2011. "Why Official Bailouts Tend Not To Work: An Example Motivated by Greece 2010," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-5, February.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
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Cited by:
  1. Broner, Fernando A & Erce, Aitor & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2013. "Sovereign Debt Markets in Turbulent Times: Creditor Discrimination and Crowding-Out Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Juan Carlos Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2014. "Is It Too Late to Bail Out the Troubled Countries in the Eurozone?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 88-93, May.
  3. Gustavo Adler, 2012. "Intertwined Sovereign and Bank Solvencies in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Crisis," IMF Working Papers 12/178, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Cristina Arellano & Juan Carlos Conesa & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2012. "Chronic sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone, 2010-2012," Economic Policy Paper 12-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Fernando Broner & Aitor Erce & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2013. "Sovereign Debt Markets in Turbulent Times: Creditor Discrimination and Crowding-Out," IMF Working Papers 13/270, International Monetary Fund.

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