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Sovereign Default in a Monetary Union

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  • de Ferra, Sergio
  • Romei, Federica

Abstract

In the aftermath of the global fi nancial crisis, sovereign default risk and the zero lower bound have limited the ability of policy-makers in the European monetary union to achieve their stabilization objective. This paper investigates the interaction between sovereign default risk and the conduct of monetary policy, when borrowers can act strategically and they share with their lenders a single currency in a monetary union. We address this question in an endogenous sovereign default model of heterogeneous countries in a monetary union, where the monetary authority may be constrained by the zero lower bound. We uncover three main results. First, in normal times, debtors have a stronger incentive to default to induce more expansionary monetary policy. Second, the zero lower bound, or constraints on monetary policy, may act as a disciplining device to enforce repayment of sovereign debt. Third, sovereign default risk induces countries with a preference for tight monetary policy to accept a laxer policy stance. These results help to shed light on the recent European experience of high default risk, expansionary monetary policy and low nominal interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • de Ferra, Sergio & Romei, Federica, 2018. "Sovereign Default in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 12976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12976
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Philippe Martin & Todd E. Messer, 2020. "The Economics of Sovereign Debt, Bailouts and the Eurozone Crisis," NBER Working Papers 27403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Javier Bianchi & Jorge Mondragon, 2018. "Monetary Independence and Rollover Crises," NBER Working Papers 25340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneous Countries; monetary union; sovereign default; zero lower bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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