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Reserve Requirements on Sovereign Debt in the Presence of Moral Hazard -- on Debtors or Creditors?

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Stephen Turnovsky

Abstract

This paper characterizes the effects of reserve requirements on financial loans in the presence of moral hazard on the lender side (i.e., the anticipation that the taxpayer will bailout lending banks if large default will occur) and sovereign risk on the borrower side. The impacts of such reserve requirements on the equilibrium degree of default risk and borrowing are analyzed, and their welfare implications for both the borrowing and the lending nations discussed. More generous bailouts financed by the high income block encourage borrowing and increase the probability of default. We show that the introduction of a reserve requirement in either country reduces the risk of default and raises the welfare of both the high income block and the emerging market economies. In these circumstances, the lender's optimal reserve requirement is shown to increase with the expected bailout. Such a policy induces the lender to internalize the expected tax payer cost of the bailout. Thus a more generous bailout that is accompanied by an optimal adjustment in the lender's reserve requirements exactly neutralizes its effects on welfare, leaving welfare in both countries unchanged. Unlike the case of the lender, the effect of the more generous bailout on the borrower's optimal reserve requirement is ambiguous. The imposition of the reserve requirement may also improve the availability of information about the debt exposure of the emerging market economies, which by itself will reduce the optimal lender's reserve requirements, and may prevent drying up' the market for sovereign debt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0044.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
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Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:0044

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  1. Helpman, Elhanan, 1989. "The Simple Analytics of Debt-Equity Swaps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 440-51, June.
  2. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 1999. "Emerging Market Crises: An Asset Markets Perspective," Working papers 99-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  5. Boyd, John H & Smith, Bruce D, 1994. "How Good Are Standard Debt Contracts? Stochastic versus Nonstochastic Monitoring in a Costly State Verification Environment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 539-61, October.
  6. Marcus H. Miller & Lei Zhang, 1999. "Sovereign Liquidity Crisis: The Strategic Case for A Payments Standstill," Working Paper Series WP99-8, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jose De Gregorio & Sebastian Edwards & Rodrigo O. Valdes, 2000. "Controls on Capital Inflows: Do they Work?," NBER Working Papers 7645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pierre-Richard Agenor & Joshua Aizenman, 1998. "Volatility and the Welfare Costs of Financial Market Integration," NBER Working Papers 6782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bhandari, Jagdeep S. & Ul Haque, Nadeem & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1989. "Growth, debt, and sovereign risk in a small, open economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 260, The World Bank.
  11. Michael P. Dooley, 1998. "A model of crises in emerging markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 630, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Buiter, Willem H & Sibert, Anne C, 1999. "UDROP: A Contribution to the New International Financial Architecture," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 227-47, July.
  13. Aizenman, Joshua, 1989. "Country Risk, Incomplete Information and Taxes on International Borrowing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 147-61, March.
  14. Joseph P. Hughes & Loretta J. Mester, 1991. "A quality and risk-adjusted cost function for banks: evidence on the " too-big-to-fail" doctrine," Working Papers 91-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Working Papers 1894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kletzer, Kenneth M, 1984. "Asymmetries of Information and LDC Borrowing with Sovereign Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 287-307, June.
  17. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  18. Jagdeep S. Bhandari & Nadeem Ul Haque & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1990. "Growth, External Debt, and Sovereign Risk in a Small Open Economy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 388-417, June.
  19. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  20. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1982. "The order of economic liberalization: Lessons from Chile and Argentina," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 159-186, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Chattopadhyay, Pradip, 2003. "Volatility and growth in developing economies: some numerical results and empirical evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 267-295, March.
  2. Stephen J. Turnovsky & Santanu Chatterjee, 2004. "Tied Versus Untied Foreign Aid: Consequences for a Growing Economy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 8, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Rangan Gupta, 2004. "Costly State Monitoring and Reserve Requirements," Working papers 2004-33, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2005.
  4. Eza Ghassan Al-Zein, 2008. "Reserve Requirements, the Maturity Structure of Debt, and Bank Runs," IMF Working Papers 08/108, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Joshua Aizenman, 2005. "Ex Ante Carrots instead of Ex Post Sticks: Two Examples," NBER Working Papers 11242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy Marion, 1999. "Reserve Uncertainty and the Supply of International Credit," NBER Working Papers 7202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Theo S Eicher & Uwe Walz & Stephen Turnovsky, 2000. "Financial Liberalization and Capital Flow Reversals:," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0003, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Noy, Ilan, 2008. "Sovereign default risk, the IMF and creditor moral hazard," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 64-78, February.
  9. Theo S. Eicher & Stephen J. Turnovsky & Uwe Walz, 2000. "Optimal Policy for Financial Market Liberalizations: Decentralization and Capital Flow Reversals," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, 02.
  10. Joshua Aizenman, 2009. "Hoarding International Reserves Versus a Pigovian Tax-Cum-Subsidy Scheme: Reflections on the Deleveraging Crisis of 2008-9, and a Cost Benefit Analysis," NBER Working Papers 15484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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