IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecm/emetrp/v77y2009i4p1137-1164.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bubbles and Self-Enforcing Debt

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Hellwig
  • Guido Lorenzoni

Abstract

We characterize equilibria with endogenous debt constraints for a general equilibrium economy with limited commitment in which the only consequence of default is losing the ability to borrow in future periods. First, we show that equilibrium debt limits must satisfy a simple condition that allows agents to exactly roll over existing debt period by period. Second, we provide an equivalence result, whereby the resulting set of equilibrium allocations with self-enforcing private debt is equivalent to the allocations that are sustained with unbacked public debt or rational bubbles. In contrast to the classic result by Bulow and Rogoff (1989a), positive levels of debt are sustainable in our environment because the interest rate is sufficiently low to provide repayment incentives. Copyright 2009 The Econometric Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Hellwig & Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "Bubbles and Self-Enforcing Debt," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1137-1164, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:1137-1164
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3982/ECTA6754
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ventura, Jaume, 2002. "Bubbles and Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 3657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
    3. YiLi Chien & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "The Market Price of Aggregate Risk and the Wealth Distribution," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1596-1650, April.
    4. Dirk Kreuger & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory," Working Papers 02-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Krueger, Dirk & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "Competitive risk sharing contracts with one-sided commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1661-1691, October.
    6. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1992. "Bubbles and constraints on debt accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 245-256.
    7. Brian D. Wright & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 621-639, June.
    8. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
    9. Karsten Jeske, 2006. "Private International Debt with Risk of Repudiation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 576-593, June.
    10. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Andres Erosa & Ted Temzelides, 1999. "Private Money and Reserve Management in a Random-Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 929-945, October.
    11. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    12. Chari V. V. & Kehoe Patrick J., 1993. "Sustainable Plans and Debt," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 230-261, December.
    13. John Kareken & Neil Wallace, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-222.
    14. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 865-888.
    15. Wright, Mark L.J., 2006. "Private capital flows, capital controls, and default risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 120-149, June.
    16. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1995. "The role of institutions in reputation models of sovereign debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 45-64, February.
    17. Tirole, Jean, 1982. "On the Possibility of Speculation under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1163-1181, September.
    18. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    19. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
    20. Berentsen, Aleksander & Camera, Gabriele & Waller, Christopher, 2007. "Money, credit and banking," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 171-195, July.
    21. Grossman, Herschel I. & Han, Taejoon, 1999. "Sovereign debt and consumption smoothing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 149-158, August.
    22. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, January.
    23. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
    25. Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1992. "Sovereign Debt: Forgiving and Forgetting Reconsidered," Discussion Papers 1016, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    26. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x.
    27. Thomas, J. P., 1992. "Sovereign debt: Ignorance can be bliss," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 389-396, October.
    28. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Public Debt as Private Liquidity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 382-388, May.
    29. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    30. Manuel Amador, 2004. "A Political Model Sovereign Debt Repayment," 2004 Meeting Papers 762, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    31. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
    32. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1998. "Models of Sovereign Debt: Partial versus General Reputations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 55-70, February.
    33. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christian Hellwig, 2003. "Bubbles and Self-enforcing Debt (October 2006, with Guido Lorenzoni)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 229, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Bloise, Gaetano & Reichlin, Pietro, 2011. "Asset prices, debt constraints and inefficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1520-1546, July.
    3. Filipe Martins da Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2017. "Borrowing in Excess of Natural Ability to Repay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 42-59, January.
    4. Victor Filipe Martins da Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2014. "Self-enforcing Debt, Reputation, and the Role of Interest Rates," Working Papers hal-01097114, HAL.
    5. V. Filipe Martins-da-Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2017. "On the sovereign debt paradox," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(4), pages 825-846, December.
    6. Filipe Martins da Rocha & Yiannis Vailakis, 2017. "Borrowing in Excess of Natural Ability to Repay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 42-59, January.
    7. Auclert, Adrien & Rognlie, Matthew, 2016. "Unique equilibrium in the Eaton–Gersovitz model of sovereign debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 134-146.
    8. Yue, Vivian Z., 2010. "Sovereign default and debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 176-187, March.
    9. Toan Phan, 2016. "Information, Insurance and the Sustainability of Sovereign Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 22, pages 93-108, October.
    10. Aguiar, Mark & Amador, Manuel, 2014. "Sovereign Debt," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 647-687, Elsevier.
    11. Bloise, Gaetano & Polemarchakis, Herakles & Vailakis, Yiannis, 2018. "Sustainable Debt," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 45, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    12. Victor Filipe Martins da Rocha & Toan Phan & Yiannis Vailakis, 2019. "Debt Limits and Credit Bubbles in General Equilibrium," Post-Print hal-02429759, HAL.
    13. Gaetano Bloise & Pietro Reichlin & Mario Tirelli, 2013. "Fragility of Competitive Equilibrium with Risk of Default," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 271-295, April.
    14. Grochulski, Borys & Zhang, Yuzhe, 2011. "Optimal risk sharing and borrowing constraints in a continuous-time model with limited commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2356-2388.
    15. Alvaro Aguirre, 2017. "Contracting Institutions and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 192-217, March.
    16. Miao, Jianjun & Zhang, Yuzhe, 2015. "A duality approach to continuous-time contracting problems with limited commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 929-988.
    17. Niepelt, Dirk, 2014. "Debt maturity without commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(S), pages 37-54.
    18. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2009. "Noneconomic Engagement and International Exchange: The Case of Environmental Treaties," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2‐3), pages 337-363, March.
    19. Kehoe, Patrick J. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Competitive equilibria with limited enforcement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 184-206, November.
    20. Florin Bidian & Camelia Bejan, 2015. "Martingale properties of self-enforcing debt," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 60(1), pages 35-57, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:77:y:2009:i:4:p:1137-1164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/essssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.