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Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises, Revisited

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  • Mark Aguiar
  • Satyajit Chatterjee
  • Harold L. Cole
  • Zachary Stangebye

Abstract

We revisit self-fulfilling rollover crises by exploring the potential uncertainty introduced by a gap in time (however small) between an auction of new debt and the payment of maturing liabilities. It is well known (Cole and Kehoe, 2000) that the lack of commitment at the time of auction to repayment of imminently maturing debt can generate a run on debt, leading to a failed auction and immediate default. We show that the same lack of commitment leads to a rich set of possible self-fulfilling crises, including a government that issues more debt because of the crisis, albeit at depressed prices. Another possible outcome is a “sudden stop” (or forced austerity) in which the government sharply curtails debt issuance. Both outcomes stem from the government’s incentive to eliminate uncertainty about imminent payments at the time of auction by altering the level of debt issuance. In an otherwise standard quantitative version of the model, including such crises in-creases the default probabilities by a factor of five and the spread volatility by a factor of twenty-five.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Aguiar & Satyajit Chatterjee & Harold L. Cole & Zachary Stangebye, 2020. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises, Revisited," Working Papers 20-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:87393
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2020.03
    Note: REVISED JUNE 2022
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    Cited by:

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    2. Saki Bigio & Galo Nuño & Juan Passadore, 2019. "A Framework for Debt-Maturity Management," Working Papers 143, Peruvian Economic Association.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2017. "Fiscal Stimulus and Fiscal Sustainability," NBER Working Papers 23789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2019. "Endogenous political turnover and fluctuations in sovereign default risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 37-50.
    5. Mr. Philip Barrett, 2018. "Interest-Growth Differentials and Debt Limits in Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 2018/082, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Radek Paluszynski, 2017. "Learning about Debt Crises," 2017 Meeting Papers 1602, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2020. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Dilution: Maturity and Multiplicity in Debt Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(9), pages 2783-2818, September.
    8. Juan Passadore & Juan Xandri, 2019. "Robust Predictions in Dynamic Policy Games," 2019 Meeting Papers 1345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Sergey Pekarski & Anna Sokolova, 2021. "Default Costs and Self-fulfilling Fiscal Limits in a Small Open Economy," HSE Working papers WP BRP 243/EC/2021, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    10. Prein, Timm, 2019. "Persistent Unemployment, Sovereign Debt Crises, and the Impact of Haircuts," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203654, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Maeng, Seung Hyun, 2020. "Debt Crises, Fast and Slow," CEPR Discussion Papers 14868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Semmler, Willi & Tahri, Ibrahim, 2017. "Current account imbalances: A new approach to assess external debt sustainability," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 161-170.
    13. Saki Bigio & Galo Nuño & Juan Passadore, 2019. "Debt-Maturity Management with Liquidity Costs," NBER Working Papers 25808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-fulfilling debt crises; rollover crises;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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