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Slow Moving Debt Crises

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  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Ivan Werning

Abstract

What circumstances or policies leave sovereign borrowers at the mercy of self-fulfilling increases in interest rates? To answer this question, we study the dynamics of debt and interest rates in a model where default is driven by insolvency. Fiscal deficits and surpluses are subject to shocks but influenced by a fiscal policy rule. Whenever possible the government issues debt to meet its current obligations and defaults otherwise. We show that low and high interest rate equilibria may coexist. Higher interest rates, prompted by fears of default, lead to faster debt accumulation, validating default fears. We call such an equilibrium a slow moving crisis, in contrast to rollover crises where investor runs precipitate immediate default. We investigate how the existence of multiple equilibria is affected by the fiscal policy rule, the maturity of debt, and the level of debt.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19228.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19228

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  1. Marcos Chamon, 2004. "Can Debt Crises Be Self-Fulfilling?," IMF Working Papers 04/99, International Monetary Fund.
  2. David M. Frankel & Stephen Morris & Ady Pauzner, 2001. "Equilibrium Selection in Global Games with Strategic Complementarities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1336, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  4. Hatchondo, Juan Carlos & Martinez, Leonardo, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 117-125, September.
  5. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Timothy J, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-95 debt crisis," Staff Report 210, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Slow Moving Debt Crises
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2013-07-25 15:57:42
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Cited by:
  1. Broner, Fernando & Erce, Aitor & Martin, Alberto & Ventura, Jaume, 2014. "Sovereign debt markets in turbulent times: Creditor discrimination and crowding-out effects," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-142.
  2. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2013. "Take the Short Route: How to Repay and Restructure Sovereign Debt with Multiple Maturities," NBER Working Papers 19717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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