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Sovereign Default Risk and Firm Heterogeneity

Author

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  • Cristina Arellano
  • Yan Bai
  • Luigi Bocola

Abstract

This paper studies the recessionary effects of sovereign default risk using firm-level data and a model of sovereign debt with firm heterogeneity. Our environment features a two-way feedback loop. Low output decreases the tax revenues of the government and raises the risk that it will default on its debt. The associated increase in sovereign interest rate spreads, in turn, raises the interest rates paid by firms, which further depresses their production. Importantly, these effects are not homogeneous across firms, as interest rate hikes have more severe consequences for firms that are in need of borrowing. Our approach consists of using these cross-sectional implications of the model, together with micro data, to measure the effects that sovereign risk has on real economic activity. In an application to Italy, we find that the progressive heightening of sovereign risk during the recent crisis was responsible for 50% of the observed decline in output.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Luigi Bocola, 2017. "Sovereign Default Risk and Firm Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 23314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benjamin Hébert & Jesse Schreger, 2014. "The Costs of Sovereign Default: Evidence from Argentina," Working Paper 223701, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    2. Bahaj, Saleem A., 2014. "Systemic sovereign risk: macroeconomic implications in the euro area," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58110, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Yusuf Soner Baskaya & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2016. "Sovereign Risk and Bank Lending: Evidence from 1999 Turkish Earthquake," NBER Working Papers 22335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2013. "Take the Short Route: How to Repay and Restructure Sovereign Debt with Multiple Maturities," NBER Working Papers 19717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Acharya, Viral V & Eisert, Tim & Eufinger, Christian & Hirsch, Christian, 2014. "Real Effects of the Sovereign Debt Crisis in Europe: Evidence from Syndicated Loans," CEPR Discussion Papers 10108, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Luigi Bocola & Alessandro Dovis, 2016. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 22694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Luigi Bocola, 2016. "The Pass-Through of Sovereign Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(4), pages 879-926.
    8. Christopher L. House & Christian Proebsting & Linda L. Tesar, 2017. "Austerity in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 23147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:inecon:v:112:y:2018:i:c:p:182-199 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arellano, Cristina & Bai, Yan & Mihalache, Gabriel, 2018. "Default risk, sectoral reallocation, and persistent recessions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 182-199.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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