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Analysis of the seeds of the debt crisis in Europe

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  • Haluk Yener
  • Thanasis Stengos
  • M. Ege Yazgan

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the seeds of the recent debt crisis that occurred in the Eurozone area using a variant of Fleming and Stein [2004. “Stochastic Optimal Control, International Finance and Debt.” Journal of Banking and Finance, 28: 979–996] model. This model has two risk drivers arising from uncertainties in the return on capital and the effective rate of return on net foreign assets. Given the risk drivers, we model the net worth value process of an economy under a stochastic setting and show that opening to the rest of the world by pursuing the growth maximizing leverage strategy is better than remaining closed, as that strategy enhances the growth of the net worth process. Second, we provide an extra condition to show when the excessive leverage poses a threat to the sustainable growth of an economy. In this way, we improve the model introduced by Fleming and Stein as a signal of possible debt crises. Finally, we conduct an econometric analysis for the group of countries considered under this study, and show that there is a long-run relationship between the capital stock and the total external debt justifying the use of the structural model we employ.

Suggested Citation

  • Haluk Yener & Thanasis Stengos & M. Ege Yazgan, 2017. "Analysis of the seeds of the debt crisis in Europe," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(15), pages 1589-1610, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjfi:v:23:y:2017:i:15:p:1589-1610
    DOI: 10.1080/1351847X.2016.1272474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Gregory Mankiw, N., 1999. "Government debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1615-1669 Elsevier.
    2. Stein, Jerome L & Paladino, Giovanna, 2001. "Country Default Risk: An Empirical Assessment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 417-436, December.
    3. Stein, Jerome L., 2006. "Stochastic Optimal Control, International Finance, and Debt Crises," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199280575.
    4. Stein, Jerome L & Paladino, Giovanna, 2001. "Country Default Risk: An Empirical Assessment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 417-436, December.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 573-578, May.
    6. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
    7. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
    8. Fleming, Wendell H. & Stein, Jerome L., 2004. "Stochastic optimal control, international finance and debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 979-996, May.
    9. Jerome L. Stein, 2011. "The Diversity of Debt Crises in Europe," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 31(2), pages 199-215, Spring/Su.
    10. Kourtellos, Andros & Stengos, Thanasis & Tan, Chih Ming, 2013. "The effect of public debt on growth in multiple regimes," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 35-43.
    11. Stein, Jerome L., 2007. "United States current account deficits: A stochastic optimal control analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1321-1350, May.
    12. Jerome L. Stein, 2005. "Optimal Debt And Endogenous Growth In Models Of International Finance," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 389-413, December.
    13. Leonard Maclean & Edward Thorp & William Ziemba, 2010. "Long-term capital growth: the good and bad properties of the Kelly and fractional Kelly capital growth criteria," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(7), pages 681-687.
    14. Jerome L. Stein, 2009. "Application of Stochastic Optimal Control to Financial Market Debt Crises," CESifo Working Paper Series 2539, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Jerome L. Stein, 2011. "The Diversity of Debt Crises in Europe," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 44-51, December.
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