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A Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk

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  • Martin Uribe

Abstract

This paper presents a fiscal theory of sovereign risk and default. Under certain monetary-fiscal regimes, the risk of default, and thus the emergence of sovereign risk premia, are inevitable. The paper characterizes the equilibrium processes of the sovereign risk premium and the default rate under a number of alternative monetary policy arrangements. Under some of the policy environments considered, the expected default rate and the sovereign risk premium are zero although the government defaults regularly. Under other monetary regimes the default rate and the sovereign risk premium are serially correlated and therefore forecastable. Environments are characterized under which delaying default is counterproductive.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9221.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Publication status: published as Uribe, Martin. “A Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk." Journal of Monetary Economics 53 (November 2006): 1857-1875.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9221

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  1. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2003. "Government Finance in the Wake of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 9786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-25, August.
  3. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," CEPR Discussion Papers 2948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  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. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
  10. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  12. 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.
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