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Sovereign debt spread and default in a model with self-fulfilling prophecies and asymmetric information

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  • Blot, Christophe
  • Ducoudré, Bruno
  • Timbeau, Xavier

Abstract

The euro area sovereign debt crisis has renewed interest in government credibility and the risk of default. Recent empirical evidence has shown that the sharp increase in government bond yields cannot be attributed entirely to changes in macroeconomic fundamentals. Contagion effects can occur, and self-fulfilling speculation may arise. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model in the spirit of the second-generation currency crisis models developed by Obstfled (1996). The model describes a strategic game between governments and private investors. Euro area countries face a trade-off as governments may either commit to and implement restrictive fiscal policies or default on debt. The commitment strategy may not be optimal if the fundamentals deteriorate. The policy maker lose part of their credibility, and governments are forced to default. In addition, we introduce uncertainty about the cost of default in the model, which is then able to account for a greater variety of equilibrium. Thus, when the evaluation of the cost of default is asymmetric, prophecies are not always realized and default does not occur. Simulations of the model then show that it offers insights, and can help to account for the situations of Greece and Italy during the sovereign debt crisis.

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  • Blot, Christophe & Ducoudré, Bruno & Timbeau, Xavier, 2016. "Sovereign debt spread and default in a model with self-fulfilling prophecies and asymmetric information," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 281-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:47:y:2016:i:pb:p:281-299
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2015.10.003
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    1. repec:eee:quaeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:26-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cornand, Camille & Gandré, Pauline & Gimet, Céline, 2016. "Increase in home bias in the Eurozone debt crisis: The role of domestic shocks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 445-469.
    3. ​pierre Aldama & Jérôme Creel, 2016. "Why fiscal regimes matter for fiscal sustainability analysis: an application to France," Sciences Po publications 2016-15, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sovereign default; Risk premium; Multiple equilibria; Asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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