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A fiscal theory of sovereign risk

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  • Uribe, Martin

Abstract

This paper presents a fiscal theory of sovereign risk and default. Under certain monetary-fiscal regimes, the risk of default, and thus the emergence of sovereign risk premia, are inevitable. The paper characterizes the equilibrium processes of the sovereign risk premium and the default rate under a number of alternative monetary policy arrangements. It is argued that, given the fiscal stance, monetary policy plays a crucial role in shaping the equilibrium behaviour of the country risk premium and the default rate. For instance, under some of the monetary policy rules considered, the expected default rate and the sovereign risk premium are zero (and therefore unforecastable) although the government defaults regularly. Under other monetary regimes the default rate and the sovereign risk premium are serially correlated (and therefore forecastable). In addition, environments are characterized under which delaying default is counterproductive. JEL Classification: E6, F4
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Suggested Citation

  • Uribe, Martin, 2006. "A fiscal theory of sovereign risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1857-1875, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:53:y:2006:i:8:p:1857-1875
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    1. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2001. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 40-69.
    3. Benhabib, J. & Schmitt-Grohe, S. & Uribe, M., 1999. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 99-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    4. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2006. "Government finance in the wake of currency crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 401-440.
    5. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 535-563.
    6. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    7. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 129-147.
    8. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Balance-of-Payments Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(3), pages 311-325, August.
    9. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 345-380.
    10. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2006. "Government finance in the wake of currency crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 401-440.
    11. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2000. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 211-246.
    12. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), pages 381-399.
    13. 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.
    14. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 195-214.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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