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Can Debt Crises Be Self-Fulfilling?

  • Marcos Chamon

Several papers argue that debt crises can be the result of self-fulfilling expectations that no one will lend to a country. I show this type of coordination failure can be eliminated by a combination of state-contingent securities and a mechanism that allows investors to promise to lend only if enough other investors do so as well. This suggests that runs on the debt of a single borrower (such as the government) can be eliminated, and that self-fulfilling features are more plausible when articulated in a context in which externalities among many decentralized borrowers allow for economy-wide debt runs to occur.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/99.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/99
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  1. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1998. "Prospective deficits and the Asian currency crisis," Working Paper Series WP-98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-97, June.
  3. Chang, R. & Velasco, A., 1998. "Financial Fragility and the Exchange Rate Regime," Working Papers 98-05, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Rational and Self-fulfilling Balance-of-Payments Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 72-81, March.
  5. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  7. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Alessandro Prati & Guido Tabellini, 1989. "Public Confidence and Debt Management: A Model and A Case Study of Italy," NBER Working Papers 3135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-78, February.
  10. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  11. Ilya Segal, 1999. "Contracting With Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 337-388, May.
  12. Corsetti, G. & Pesenti, P. & Roubini, N., 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis?," Papers 343, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  13. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Bacchetta & Abhijit Banerjee, 2001. "A Corporate Balance-Sheet Approach to Currency Crises," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 01.14, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  14. Pagano, Marco, 1989. "Endogenous Market Thinness and Stock Price Volatility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 269-87, April.
  15. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 1998. "Self-fulfilling debt crises," Staff Report 211, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Mark Bagnoli, Barton L. Lipman, 1988. "Successful Takeovers without Exclusion," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 89-110.
  17. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  18. Enrica Detragiache, 1996. "Rational Liquidity Crises in the Sovereign Debt Market: In Search of a Theory," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(3), pages 545-570, September.
  19. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
  20. Jeanne, Olivier, 2000. "Debt Maturity and the Global Financial Architecture," CEPR Discussion Papers 2520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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