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Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from 19th century France

Listed author(s):
  • V. Bignon
  • C. Jobst

This paper shows that a central bank can more efficiently mitigate economic crises when it broadens eligibility for its discount facility to any safe asset or solvent agent. We use difference-in-differences panel regressions and emulate crises by studying how defaults of banks and non-agricultural firms were affected by the arrival of an agricultural disease. We exploit the specificities of the implementation of the discount window to deal with the endogeneity of the access to the central bank to the arrival of the crisis and local default rates. We find that broad eligibility reduced significantly the increase in the default rate when the shock hit the local economy. A counterfactual exercise shows that defaults would have been 10% to 15% higher if the Bank of France would have implemented the strictest eligibility rule. This effect is identified independently of changes in policy interest rates and the fiscal deficit.

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File URL: https://publications.banque-france.fr/sites/default/files/medias/documents/document-de-travail-618_2017-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 618.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2017
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:618
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS

Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2005. "2002 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture Liquidity And Asset Prices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 317-349, 05.
  2. Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2011. "Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00623804, HAL.
  3. Christophe Chamley & Herakles Polemarchakis, 1984. "Assets, General Equilibrium and the Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 129-138.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Tim Watts, 2010. "Long-Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in Nineteenth-Century France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 714-728, November.
  5. Marc Flandreau, 1996. "Les règles de la pratique: La Banque de France, le marché des métaux précieux, et la naissance de l'étalon-or, 1848-1876," Post-Print hal-01027606, HAL.
  6. Flandreau, Marc, 1996. "The French Crime of 1873: An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870–1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 862-897, December.
  7. Cúrdia, Vasco & Woodford, Michael, 2011. "The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetarypolicy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 54-79, January.
  8. Armantier, Olivier & Ghysels, Eric & Sarkar, Asani & Shrader, Jeffrey, 2015. "Discount window stigma during the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 317-335.
  9. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-274, June.
  10. James T.E. Chapman & Antoine Martin, 2013. "Rediscounting under Aggregate Risk with Moral Hazard," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(4), pages 651-674, 06.
  11. Flannery, Mark J, 1996. "Financial Crises, Payment System Problems, and Discount Window Lending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 804-824, November.
  12. Santarosa, Veronica Aoki, 2015. "Financing Long-Distance Trade: The Joint Liability Rule and Bills of Exchange in Eighteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(03), pages 690-719, September.
  13. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2012. "Bagehot for beginners: the making of lender‐of‐last‐resort operations in the mid‐nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 580-608, 05.
  15. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
  16. Armantier, Olivier & Ghysels, Eric & Sarkar, Asani & Shrader, Jeffrey, 2015. "Discount window stigma during the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 317-335.
  17. Vincent Bignon & Marc Flandreau & Stefano Ugolini, 2012. "Bagehot for beginners: the making of lender‐of‐last‐resort operations in the mid‐nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 580-608, 05.
  18. Bazot, Guillaume, 2014. "Local liquidity constraints: What place for central bank regional policy? The French experience during the Belle Époque (1880–1913)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 44-62.
  19. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/661 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet & Bruno M. Parigi, 2004. "The Lender of Last Resort: A Twenty-First Century Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1085-1115, December.
  21. Bindseil, Ulrich & Jabłecki, Juliusz, 2013. "Central bank liquidity provision, risk-taking and economic efficiency," Working Paper Series 1542, European Central Bank.
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