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Dominant Currency Debt

Author

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  • Eren, Egemen
  • Malamud, Semyon

Abstract

Why is the dollar the dominant currency for debt contracts and what are its macroeconomic implications? We develop an international general equilibrium model where firms optimally choose the currency composition of their debt. We show that there always exists a dominant currency debt equilibrium, in which all firms borrow in a single dominant currency. It is the currency of the country that effectively pursues aggressive expansionary monetary policy in global downturns, lowering real debt burdens of firms. We show that the dollar empirically fits this description, despite its short term safe haven properties. We provide further modern and historical empirical support for our mechanism across time and currencies. We use our model to study how the optimal monetary policy differs if the Federal Reserve reacts to global versus domestic conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Eren, Egemen & Malamud, Semyon, 2018. "Dominant Currency Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 13391, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13391
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Valentina Bruno & Se-Jik Kim, 2018. "Exchange Rates and the Working Capital Channel of Trade Fluctuations," BIS Working Papers 694, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2017. "Foreign Currency Loans and Credit Risk: Evidence from U.S. Banks," CESifo Working Paper Series 6700, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Yusuf Soner Baskaya & Julian di Giovanni & Sebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Mehmet Fatih Ulu, 2017. "International spillovers and local credit cycles," Economics Working Papers 1559, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Aug 2017.
    4. Juan J. Cortina & Tatiana Didier & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2018. "Corporate debt maturity in developing countries: Sources of long and short‐termism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(12), pages 3288-3316, December.
    5. Liliana Varela & Juliana Salomao, 2016. "Exchange Rate Exposure and Firm Dynamics," Working Papers 2016-278-05, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
    6. Stefan Avdjiev & Valentina Bruno & Catherine Koch & Hyun Song Shin, 2019. "The Dollar Exchange Rate as a Global Risk Factor: Evidence from Investment," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(1), pages 151-173, March.
    7. Ryan Chahrour & Rosen Valchev, 2017. "International Medium of Exchange: Privilege and Duty," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 934, Boston College Department of Economics.
    8. Gita Gopinath & Emine Boz & Camila Casas & Federico J. Díez & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Mikkel Plagborg-Møller, 2016. "Dominant Currency Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 22943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Iñaki Aldasoro & Torsten Ehlers & Egemen Eren, 2018. "Business models and dollar funding of global banks," BIS Working Papers 708, Bank for International Settlements.
    10. Favara, Giovanni & Morellec, Erwan & Schroth, Enrique & Valta, Philip, 2017. "Debt enforcement, investment, and risk taking across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 22-41.
    11. Jiang, Zhengyang & Krishnamurthy, Arvind & Lustig, Hanno, 2018. "Dollar Safety and the Global Financial Cycle," Research Papers 3747, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    12. repec:aea:apandp:v:108:y:2018:p:531-36 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:apandp:v:109:y:2019:p:521-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Matteo Maggiori & Brent Neiman & Jesse Schreger, 2019. "The Rise of the Dollar and Fall of the Euro as International Currencies," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 521-526, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dollar debt; dominant currency; Exchange Rates; inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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