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Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises, Revisited

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

Abstract

We revisit self-fulfilling rollover crises by exploring the potential uncertainty introduced by a gap (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 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 one-period debt model, including such crises increase 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 Cole & Zachary Stangebye, 2017. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises, Revisited," NBER Working Papers 23312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23312
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Mr. Philip Barrett, 2018. "Interest-Growth Differentials and Debt Limits in Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 2018/082, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Auerbach, Alan J & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy, 2017. "Fiscal Stimulus and Fiscal Sustainability," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt90t9q1mx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Radek Paluszynski, 2017. "Learning about Debt Crises," 2017 Meeting Papers 1602, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Juan Passadore & Juan Xandri, 2019. "Robust Predictions in Dynamic Policy Games," 2019 Meeting Papers 1345, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Saki Bigio & Galo Nuño & Juan Passadore, 2019. "A framework for debt-maturity management," Working Papers 1919, Banco de España.
    7. 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.
    8. Mark A. Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2018. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Dilution: Maturity and Multiplicity in Debt Models," NBER Working Papers 24683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Saki Bigio & Galo Nuño & Juan Passadore, 2019. "Debt-Maturity Management with Liquidity Costs," NBER Working Papers 25808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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.
    12. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Maeng, Seung Hyun, 2020. "Debt Crises, Fast and Slow," CEPR Discussion Papers 14868, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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