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Self-fulfilling crises in the Eurozone: An empirical test

  • De Grauwe, Paul
  • Ji, Yuemei
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    We test the hypothesis that the government bond markets in the Eurozone are more fragile and more susceptible to self-fulfilling liquidity crises than in stand-alone countries. We find evidence that a significant part of the surge in the spreads of the peripheral Eurozone countries during 2010–11 was disconnected from underlying increases in the debt to GDP ratios and fiscal space variables, and was associated with negative self-fulfilling market sentiments that became very strong since the end of 2010. We argue that this can drive member countries of the Eurozone into bad equilibria. We also find evidence that after years of neglecting high government debt, investors became increasingly worried about this in the Eurozone, and reacted by raising the spreads. No such worries developed in stand-alone countries despite the fact that debt to GDP ratios and fiscal space variables were equally high and increasing in these countries.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 15-36

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:15-36
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    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Mody, Ashoka, 1999. "Lending booms, reserves, and the sustainability of short-term debt - inferences from the pricing of syndicated bank loans," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2155, The World Bank.
    2. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sebastian Edwards, 1985. "The Pricing of Bonds and Bank Loans in International Markets: An Empirical Analysis of Developing Countries' Foreign Borrowing," NBER Working Papers 1689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. von Hagen, Jürgen & Schuknecht, Ludger & Wolswijk, Guido, 2011. "Government bond risk premiums in the EU revisited: The impact of the financial crisis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 36-43, March.
    5. Gibson, Heather D. & Hall, Stephen G. & Tavlas, George S., 2012. "The Greek financial crisis: Growing imbalances and sovereign spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 498-516.
    6. Kopf, Christian, 2011. "Restoring financial stability in the euro area," CEPS Papers 4292, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    7. Gerlach, Stefan & Schulz, Alexander & Wolff, Guntram B., 2010. "Banking and sovereign risk in the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2010,09, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    8. 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.
    9. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Rational and Self-Fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," NBER Working Papers 1486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
    11. Miguel A. Segoviano Basurto & Carlos Caceres & Vincenzo Guzzo, 2010. "Sovereign Spreads: Global Risk Aversion, Contagion or Fundamentals?," IMF Working Papers 10/120, International Monetary Fund.
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