IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/22271.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Model of Safe Asset Determination

Author

Listed:
  • Zhiguo He
  • Arvind Krishnamurthy
  • Konstantin Milbradt

Abstract

What makes an asset a “safe asset”? We study a model where two countries each issue sovereign bonds to satisfy investors' safe asset demands. The countries differ in the float of their bonds and their resources/fundamentals available to rollover debts. A sovereign's debt is more likely to be safe if its fundamentals are strong relative to other possible safe assets, but not necessarily strong on an absolute basis. Debt float can enhance or detract from safety: If global demand for safe assets is high, a large float can enhance safety. The large float offers greater liquidity which increases demand for the large debt and thus reduces rollover risk. If demand for safe assets is low, then large debt size is a negative as rollover risk looms large. When global demand is high, countries may make fiscal/debt-structuring decisions to enhance their safe asset status. These actions have a tournament feature, and are self-defeating: countries may over-expand debt size to win the tournament. Coordination can generate benefits. The model sheds light on the effects of “Eurobonds” – i.e. a coordinated Euro-area-wide safe bond design. Eurobonds deliver welfare benefits only when they make up a sufficiently large fraction of countries' debts. Small steps towards Eurobonds may hurt countries and not deliver welfare benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhiguo He & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Konstantin Milbradt, 2016. "A Model of Safe Asset Determination," NBER Working Papers 22271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22271
    Note: AP CF EFG IFM ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22271.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jean-Charles Rochet & Xavier Vives, 2004. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(6), pages 1116-1147, December.
    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 587-597, June.
    3. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2012. "The Aggregate Demand for Treasury Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 233-267.
    4. Carlsson, Hans & van Damme, Eric, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 989-1018, September.
    5. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
    6. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    7. Robin Greenwood & Dimitri Vayanos, 2014. "Bond Supply and Excess Bond Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(3), pages 663-713.
    8. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
    9. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-661, September.
    10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    11. Matteo Maggiori, 2017. "Financial Intermediation, International Risk Sharing, and Reserve Currencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(10), pages 3038-3071, October.
    12. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
    13. Mr. Ashoka Mody & Mr. Stijn Claessens & Mr. Shahin Vallée, 2012. "Paths to Eurobonds," IMF Working Papers 2012/172, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Lagos, Ricardo, 2010. "Asset prices and liquidity in an exchange economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 913-930, November.
    15. Tarek A. Hassan, 2013. "Country Size, Currency Unions, and International Asset Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(6), pages 2269-2308, December.
    16. Guido Tabellini & Scott Freeman, 1998. "The optimality of nominal contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(3), pages 545-562.
    17. Zhiguo He & Konstantin Milbradt, 2014. "Endogenous Liquidity and Defaultable Bonds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(4), pages 1443-1508, July.
    18. Matthias Doepke & Martin Schneider, 2017. "Money as a Unit of Account," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1537-1574, September.
    19. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 452-484, June.
    20. Eichengreen, Barry, 1998. "The Euro as a Reserve Currency," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 483-506, December.
    21. Paul R. Krugman, 1984. "The International Role of the Dollar: Theory and Prospect," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 261-278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey & Maxime Sauzet, 2019. "The International Monetary and Financial System," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 859-893, August.
    2. Iván Werning & George-Marios Angeletos, 2006. "Crises and Prices: Information Aggregation, Multiplicity, and Volatility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1720-1736, December.
    3. Edmond, Chris, 2018. "Non-Laplacian beliefs in a global game with noisy signaling," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 297-312.
    4. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 452-484, June.
    5. Michal Szkup, 2022. "Preventing Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises: A Global Games Approach," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 43, pages 22-55, January.
    6. Thomas M. Eisenbach & Gregory Phelan, 2022. "Fragility of Safe Asset Markets," Staff Reports 1026, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Goldstein, Itay & Razin, Assaf, 2015. "Three Branches of Theories of Financial Crises," Foundations and Trends(R) in Finance, now publishers, vol. 10(2), pages 113-180, 30.
    8. Canzoneri, Matthew & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad & López-Salido, David, 2013. "Key currency status: An exorbitant privilege and an extraordinary risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 371-393.
    9. Angeletos, G.-M. & Lian, C., 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1065-1240, Elsevier.
    10. Giancarlo Marini & Giovanni Piersanti, 2012. "Models of Speculative Attacks and Crashes in International Capital Markets," CEIS Research Paper 245, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 24 Jul 2012.
    11. Gita Gopinath & Jeremy C Stein, 2021. "Banking, Trade, and the Making of a Dominant Currency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 136(2), pages 783-830.
    12. Mengus, E., 2014. "Honoring Sovereign Debt or Bailing Out Domestic Residents: A Theory of Internal Costs of Default," Working papers 480, Banque de France.
    13. Aleh Tsyvinski & Arijit Mukherji & Christian Hellwig, 2006. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1769-1787, December.
    14. Victor Filipe Martins da Rocha & Toan Phan & Yiannis Vailakis, 2019. "Debt Limits and Credit Bubbles in General Equilibrium," Post-Print hal-02429759, HAL.
    15. Lorenzoni, Guido, 2014. "International Financial Crises," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 689-740, Elsevier.
    16. Golec, Pascal & Perotti, Enrico, 2017. "Safe assets: a review," Working Paper Series 2035, European Central Bank.
    17. Ryan Chahrour & Rosen Valchev, 2017. "International Medium of Exchange: Privilege and Duty," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 934, Boston College Department of Economics.
    18. Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "A monetary approach to asset liquidity," Working Papers (Old Series) 0901, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    19. Chanelle Duley & Prasanna Gai, 2020. "When the penny doesn't drop - Macroeconomic tail risk and currency crises," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 520, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    20. Marco Bassetto & Carlo Galli, 2019. "Is Inflation Default? The Role of Information in Debt Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(10), pages 3556-3584, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22271. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.