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On Modelling Endogenous Default

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  • Dimitrios P. Tsomocos
  • Lea Zicchino

Abstract

Not only in the classic Arrow-Debreu model, but also in many mainstream macro models, an implicit assumption is that all agents honour their obligations, and thus there is no possibility of default. That leads to well-known problems in providing an essential role for either money or for financial intermediaries. So, in more realistic models, the introduction f minimal financial institutions, for example default and anks, becomes a logical necessity. But if default involved no penalties, everyone would do so. Hence there must be default penalties to allow for an equilibrium with partial default. What we show here is that there is an equivalence between a general equilibrium model with incomplete markets (GEI) and endogeneous default, and a model with exogenous probabilities of default (PD). The practical, policy implications are that a key function of regulators (via bankruptcy codes and default legislation), or the markets (through default premia) are broadly substitutable. The balance between these alternatives depends, however, on many institutional details, which are not modelled here, but should be a subject for future research.

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Paper provided by Oxford Financial Research Centre in its series OFRC Working Papers Series with number 2005fe15.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:sbs:wpsefe:2005fe15

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  1. Merton, Robert C., 1973. "On the pricing of corporate debt: the risk structure of interest rates," Working papers 684-73., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Páscoa, Mario Rui & Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de & Torres-Martínez, Juan Pablo, 2001. "Collateral Avoids Ponzi Schemes in Incomplete Markets," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 419, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Lea Zicchino & Dimitrios Tsomocos & Charles Goodhart & Oriol Aspachs Bracon, 2006. "Towards a Measure of Financial Fragility," FMG Discussion Papers dp554, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Gunnar Bardsen & Kjersti-Gro Lindquist & Dimitrios P.Tsomocos, 2006. "Evaluation of macroeconomic models for financial stability analysis," OFRC Working Papers Series 2006fe01, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
  3. Dimitrios P Tsomocos & Charles A.E. Goodhart, 2004. "A Risk Assessment Model for Banks," Economics Series Working Papers 2004-FE-11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Charles Goodhart & Pojanart Sunirand & Dimitrios Tsomocos, 2006. "A Time Series Analysis of Financial Fragility in the UK Banking System," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, January.

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