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Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from Nineteenth Century France

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  • Bignon, Vincent
  • Jobst, Clemens

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 central bank would have implemented the strictest eligibility rule. This effect is identified independently of changes in policy interest rates and the fiscal deficit.

Suggested Citation

  • Bignon, Vincent & Jobst, Clemens, 2017. "Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from Nineteenth Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 11737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11737
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bindseil, Ulrich & Corsi, Marco & Sahel, Benjamin & Visser, Ad, 2017. "The Eurosystem collateral framework explained," Occasional Paper Series 189, European Central Bank.
    2. Mike Anson & David Bholat Author-Name-First: David & 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. Jean Barthélémy & Vincent Bignon & Benoît Nguyen, 2017. "Monetary policy, illiquid collateral and bank lending during the European sovereign debt crisis," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Programme National Persée, vol. 494(1), pages 111-130.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bagehot rule; Collateral; default rate; discount window;

    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-

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