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Reserve Requirements on Sovereign Debt in the Presence of Moral Hazard -- on Debtors or Creditors?

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Stephen Turnovsky

Abstract

This paper characterizes the effects of reserve requirements on financial loans in the presence of moral hazard on the lender side (i.e., the anticipation that the taxpayer will bailout lending banks if large default will occur) and sovereign risk on the borrower side. The impacts of such reserve requirements on the equilibrium degree of default risk and borrowing are analyzed, and their welfare implications for both the borrowing and the lending nations discussed. More generous bailouts financed by the high income block encourage borrowing and increase the probability of default. We show that the introduction of a reserve requirement in either country reduces the risk of default and raises the welfare of both the high income block and the emerging market economies. In these circumstances, the lender's optimal reserve requirement is shown to increase with the expected bailout. Such a policy induces the lender to internalize the expected tax payer cost of the bailout. Thus a more generous bailout that is accompanied by an optimal adjustment in the lender's reserve requirements exactly neutralizes its effects on welfare, leaving welfare in both countries unchanged. Unlike the case of the lender, the effect of the more generous bailout on the borrower's optimal reserve requirement is ambiguous. The imposition of the reserve requirement may also improve the availability of information about the debt exposure of the emerging market economies, which by itself will reduce the optimal lender's reserve requirements, and may prevent drying up' the market for sovereign debt.
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Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Stephen Turnovsky, 1999. "Reserve Requirements on Sovereign Debt in the Presence of Moral Hazard -- on Debtors or Creditors?," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0044, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:washer:0044
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Chattopadhyay, Pradip, 2003. "Volatility and growth in developing economies: some numerical results and empirical evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 267-295, March.
    2. Maurício Yoshinori Une & Marcelo Savino Portugal, 2005. "Fear of disruption: a model of Markov-switching regimes for the Brazilian country risk conditional volatility," Econometrics 0509005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stephen J. Turnovsky & Santanu Chatterjee, 2004. "Tied Versus Untied Foreign Aid: Consequences for a Growing Economy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 8, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Noy, Ilan, 2008. "Sovereign default risk, the IMF and creditor moral hazard," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 64-78, February.
    5. Aizenman, Joshua, 2005. "Ex ante carrots instead of ex post sticks: two examples," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1jw476fz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    6. Rangan Gupta, 2005. "Costly State Monitoring and Reserve Requirements," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 6(2), pages 263-288, November.
    7. Eza Ghassan Al-Zein, 2008. "Reserve Requirements, the Maturity Structure of Debt, and Bank Runs," IMF Working Papers 08/108, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2002. "Reserve Uncertainty and the Supply of International Credit," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(3), pages 631-649, August.
    9. Joshua Aizenman, 2010. "Hoarding international reserves versus a Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy scheme: Reflections on the deleveraging crisis of 2008-9, and a cost benefit analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
    10. Steiner, Andreas, 2014. "Reserve accumulation and financial crises: From individual protection to systemic risk," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 126-144.
    11. Theo S Eicher & Uwe Walz & Stephen Turnovsky, 2000. "Financial Liberalization and Capital Flow Reversals:," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0003, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    12. repec:eee:riibaf:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:64-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Theo S. Eicher & Stephen J. Turnovsky & Uwe Walz, 2000. "Optimal Policy for Financial Market Liberalizations: Decentralization and Capital Flow Reversals," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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