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

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  • V. Bignon
  • C. Jobst

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Bignon & C. Jobst, 2017. "Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from 19th century France," Working papers 618, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:618
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pamfili Antipa & Vincent Bignon, 2018. "Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 17-36.
    2. Mike Anson & David Bholat & Miao Kang & Ryland Thomas, 2017. "The Bank of England as Lender of Last Resort: New historical evidence from daily transactional data," Working Papers 0117, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. Clemens Jobst & Kilian Rieder, 2016. "Principles, circumstances and constraints: the Nationalbank as lender of last resort from 1816 to 1931," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 140-162.
    4. Avaro, Maylis & Bignon, Vincent, 2019. "At Your Service! Liquidity Provision and Risk Management in 19th Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 13556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. J. Barthélemy & V. Bignon & B. Nguyen, 2017. "Illiquid Collateral and Bank Lending during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Working papers 631, Banque de France.
    6. Bindseil, Ulrich & Corsi, Marco & Sahel, Benjamin & Visser, Ad, 2017. "The Eurosystem collateral framework explained," Occasional Paper Series 189, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    discount window; collateral; Bagehot rule; central bank; default rate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-

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