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Coordination and Crisis in Monetary Unions

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  • Mark Aguiar
  • Manuel Amador
  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Gita Gopinath

Abstract

We characterize fiscal and monetary policy in a monetary union with the potential for rollover crises in sovereign debt markets. Member-country fiscal authorities lack commitment to repay their debt and choose fiscal policy independently. A common monetary authority chooses inflation for the union, also without commitment. We first describe the existence of a fiscal externality that arises in the presence of limited commitment and leads countries to over borrow; this externality rationalizes the imposition of debt ceilings in a monetary union. We then investigate the impact of the composition of debt in a monetary union, that is the fraction of high-debt versus low-debt members, on the occurrence of self-fulfilling debt crises. We demonstrate that a high-debt country may be less vulnerable to crises and have higher welfare when it belongs to a union with an intermediate mix of high- and low-debt members, than one where all other members are low-debt. This contrasts with the conventional wisdom that all countries should prefer a union with low-debt members, as such a union can credibly deliver low inflation. These findings shed new light on the criteria for an optimal currency area in the presence of rollover crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Emmanuel Farhi & Gita Gopinath, 2014. "Coordination and Crisis in Monetary Unions," NBER Working Papers 20277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2018. "History Remembered: Optimal Sovereign Default on Domestic and External Debt," NBER Working Papers 25073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Windfall of Low Interest Payments and Fiscal Sustainability in the Euro Area: Analysis through Panel Fiscal Reaction Functions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 475-510, November.
    3. repec:eee:dyncon:v:95:y:2018:i:c:p:211-232 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Arellano, Cristina & Maliar, Lilia & Maliar, Serguei & Tsyrennikov, Viktor, 2016. "Envelope condition method with an application to default risk models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 436-459.
    5. Cornand, Camille & Gandré, Pauline & Gimet, Céline, 2016. "Increase in home bias in the Eurozone debt crisis: The role of domestic shocks," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 445-469.
    6. Tanguy Bernard & Fo Kodjo Dzinyefa Aflagah & Angelino Viceisza, 2015. "Communication and coordination: Experimental evidence from farmer groups in Senegal," Working Papers hal-02146177, HAL.
    7. Ari, A., 2016. "Sovereign Risk and Bank Risk-Taking," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1665, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Illenin Kondo & Fabrizio Perri & Sewon Hur, 2016. "Inflation, Debt, and Default," 2016 Meeting Papers 1610, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. de Ferra, Sergio & Romei, Federica, 2018. "Sovereign Default in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 12976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Ayres, Joao Luiz & Navarro, Gaston & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2019. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises with Long Stagnations," Working Papers 757, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    11. Galo Nuño & Carlos Thomas, 2015. "Monetary policy and sovereign debt vulnerability," Working Papers 1517, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    12. Paula Margaretic & Sebastián Becerra, 2017. "Dispersed Information and Sovereign Risk Premia," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 808, Central Bank of Chile.
    13. Pasquale Foresti, 2018. "Monetary And Fiscal Policies Interaction In Monetary Unions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 226-248, February.
    14. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2599 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Pablo D'Erasmo & Enrique Mendoza, 2011. "Optimal Domestic (and External) Sovereign Default," PIER Working Paper Archive 16-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Aug 2016.
    16. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Erce, Aitor & Uy, Timothy, 2018. "Debt Sustainability and the Terms of Official Support," CEPR Discussion Papers 13292, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Jeon, Kiyoung & Kabukcuoglu, Zeynep, 2018. "Income inequality and sovereign default," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 211-232.
    18. repec:eee:streco:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:100-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Ari, Anil, 2018. "Gambling traps," Working Paper Series 2217, European Central Bank.
    20. Kobielarz, Michal, 2018. "The economics of monetary unions," Other publications TiSEM b0293536-68ec-4905-bffd-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    21. repec:eee:inecon:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Kriwoluzky, Alexander & Müller, Gernot J. & Wolf, Martin, 2015. "Exit Expectations and Debt Crises in Currency Unions," IWH Discussion Papers 18/2015, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    23. repec:eee:jmacro:v:59:y:2019:i:c:p:78-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Harold L. Cole & Daniel Neuhann & Guillermo Ordonez, 2017. "A Walrasian Theory of Sovereign Debt Auctions with Asymmetric Information," PIER Working Paper Archive 17-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 May 2017.
    25. Gómez-Puig, Marta & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simón, 2015. "The causal relationship between debt and growth in EMU countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 974-989.

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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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