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Sovereign risk and firm heterogeneity

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Arellano
  • Yan Bai
  • Luigi Bocola

Abstract

This paper studies the recessionary effects of sovereign default risk using firm-level data and a model of sovereign debt with firm heterogeneity. Our environment features a two-way feedback loop. Low output decreases the tax revenues of the government and raises the risk that it will default on its debt. The associated increase in sovereign interest rate spreads, in turn, raises the interest rates paid by firms, which further depresses their production. Importantly, these effects are not homogeneous across firms, as interest rate hikes have more severe consequences for firms that are in need of borrowing. Our approach consists of using these cross-sectional implications of the model, together with micro data, to measure the effects that sovereign risk has on real economic activity. In an application to Italy, we find that the progressive heightening of sovereign risk during the recent crisis was responsible for 50% of the observed decline in output.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Luigi Bocola, 2017. "Sovereign risk and firm heterogeneity," Staff Report 547, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:547
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2013. "Credit Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations in an Economy with Production Heterogeneity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1055-1107.
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    5. Yusuf Soner Baskaya & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2016. "Sovereign Risk and Bank Lending: Evidence from 1999 Turkish Earthquake," NBER Working Papers 22335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm heterogeneity; Financial frictions; Sovereign debt crises;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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