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Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises: Can Monetary Policy Really Help?

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  • Bacchetta, Philippe
  • Perazzi, Elena
  • van Wincoop, Eric

Abstract

This paper examines quantitatively the potential for monetary policy to avoid self-fulfilling sovereign debt crises. We combine a version of the slow-moving debt crisis model proposed by Lorenzoni and Werning (2014) with a standard New Keynesian model. We consider both conventional and unconventional monetary policy. Under conventional policy the central bank can preclude a debt crisis through inflation, lowering the real interest rate and raising output. These reduce the real value of the outstanding debt and the cost of new borrowing, and increase tax revenues and seigniorage. Unconventional policies take the form of liquidity support or debt buyback policies that raise the monetary base beyond the satiation level. We find that generally the central bank cannot credibly avoid a self-fulfilling debt crisis. Conventional policies needed to avert a crisis require excessive inflation for a sustained period of time. Unconventional monetary policy can only be effective when the economy is at a structural ZLB for a sustained length of time.

Suggested Citation

  • Bacchetta, Philippe & Perazzi, Elena & van Wincoop, Eric, 2015. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises: Can Monetary Policy Really Help?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10609, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10609
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Bolton & Haizhou Huang, 2017. "The Capital Structure of Nations," NBER Working Papers 23612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Galo Nuño & Carlos Thomas, 2015. "Monetary policy and sovereign debt vulnerability," Working Papers 1517, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    3. Francisco Roch & Harald Uhlig, 2016. "The Dynamics of Sovereign Debt Crises and Bailouts," IMF Working Papers 2016/136, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Javier Bianchi & Jorge Mondragon, 2018. "Monetary Independence and Rollover Crises," NBER Working Papers 25340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola, 2016. "The Mystery Of The Printing Press: Monetary Policy And Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1329-1371, December.
    6. Jeroen Rozendaal & Yannick Malevergne & Didier Sornette, 2015. "Macroeconomic Dynamics of Assets, Leverage and Trust," Papers 1512.03618, arXiv.org.
    7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola, 2012. "The "Mystery of the Printing Press" Monetary Policy and Self-fulfilling Debt Crises," Discussion Papers 1424, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM), revised Aug 2014.
    8. Wenxin Du & Carolin E. Pflueger & Jesse Schreger, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Portfolios, Bond Risks, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 22592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Russell Cooper & Antoine Camous, 2016. ""Whatever it takes" is all you need: monetary policy and debt fragility," 2016 Meeting Papers 863, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Xu, Kun & Xu, Wenli, 2015. "我国“货币中性”再检验 [The Re-test of Monetary Neutrality in China]," MPRA Paper 71080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Bolton, Patrick & Huang, Haizhou, 2017. "The Capital Structure of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 12157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    long-term debt; Monetary policy; Sovereign debt crises;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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