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Fiscal Policy, Sovereign Default, and Bailouts

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  • Falko Juessen
  • Andreas Schabert

Abstract

This paper examines fiscal policy without commitment and the effects of conditional bailout loans. The government relies on distortionary taxation and decides between full debt repayment and costly default. It tends to overborrow due to myopia, which induces default to be a relevant policy option and provides a rationale to constrain sovereign borrowing. We consider a lump-sum financed fund that offers loans at a favorable price and conditional upon minimum primary surpluses. While the government prefers defaulting in the most adverse states, we find that it is willing to accept conditional loans in close-to-default states. These bailouts can lead to an increase in the mean debt price and a lower default probability that are associated with enhanced household welfare. Yet, these outcomes can be reversed when bailouts are too generous, while public debt never decreases in the long-run when bailout loans are available.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cologne, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 67.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:kls:series:0067

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Keywords: Discretionary fiscal policy; overborrowing; sovereign default; bailout loans; conditionality;

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  1. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2013. "Distributional Incentives in an Equilibrium Model of Domestic Sovereign Default," NBER Working Papers 19477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Emine Boz, 2009. "Sovereign Default, Private Sector Creditors and the IFIs," IMF Working Papers 09/46, International Monetary Fund.
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  6. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods matter," Working Paper 10-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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  9. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
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  11. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  12. Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza & Juan Carlos Hatchondo, 2010. "Quantitative Properties of Sovereign Default Models," IMF Working Papers 10/100, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt," NBER Working Papers 13946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2006. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 64-83, June.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Niemann & Paul Pichler, 2013. "Collateral, Liquidity and Debt Sustainability," Working Papers 187, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).

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