IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24671.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Debauchery and Original Sin: The Currency Composition of Sovereign Debt

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Engel
  • Jungjae Park

Abstract

This study quantitatively investigates the currency composition of sovereign debt in the presence of two types of limited enforcement frictions arising from a government’s monetary and debt policy: strategic currency debasement and default on sovereign debt. Local currency debt obligations are state contingent because the real value can be changed by a government’s monetary policy, and are therefore a better consumption hedge against income shocks than foreign currency debt. However, this higher degree of state contingency for local currency debt provides policymakers with more temptation to deviate from disciplined monetary policy, thus restricting borrowing in local currency more than in foreign currency. The two financial frictions combine to generate an endogenous debt frontier for local and foreign currency debts. Our model predicts that a country with less disciplined monetary policy borrows mainly in foreign currency, as the country faces a tighter borrowing limit for local currency debt than for the foreign currency debt. Our model accounts for the surge in local currency borrowings by emerging economies in the recent decade and the “Mystery of Original Sin”. An important extension demonstrates that in the presence of an expectational Phillips curve, local currency debt improves the ability of monetary policymakers to commit.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Engel & Jungjae Park, 2018. "Debauchery and Original Sin: The Currency Composition of Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 24671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24671
    Note: IFM
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24671.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo, 2003. "On the determinants of Original Sin: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 957-990, December.
    2. Keynes, John Maynard, 1919. "The Economic Consequences of the Peace," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number keynes1919.
    3. repec:wly:iecrev:v:58:y:2017:i:4:p:1303-1316 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    5. Fernando Broner & Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Sovereign Risk and Secondary Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1523-1555, September.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    7. Wenxin Du & Carolin E. Pflueger & Jesse Schreger, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Portfolios, Bond Risks, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 22592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    9. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
    10. Atkeson, Andrew, 1991. "International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-1089, July.
    11. Diego Perez & Pablo Ottonello, 2016. "The Currency Composition of Sovereign Debt," 2016 Meeting Papers 596, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. David Benjamin & Mark L. J. Wright, 2009. "Recovery Before Redemption: A Theory Of Delays In Sovereign Debt Renegotiations," CAMA Working Papers 2009-15, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    14. Serkan Arslanalp & Takahiro Tsuda, 2014. "Tracking Global Demand for Emerging Market Sovereign Debt," IMF Working Papers 14/39, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
    16. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2006. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 64-83, June.
    17. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 865-888.
    18. Bohn, Henning, 1990. "A positive theory of foreign currency debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 273-292, November.
    19. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    20. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
    21. Jesse Schreger & Wenxin Du, 2014. "Sovereign Risk, Currency Risk, and Corporate Balance Sheets," Working Paper 209056, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    22. Yan Bai & Jing Zhang, 2010. "Solving the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle With Financial Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 603-632, March.
    23. Grossman, Herschel I. & Van Huyck, John B., 1993. "Nominal sovereign debt, risk shifting, and reputation," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(3-4), pages 341-352.
    24. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-1097, December.
    25. Du, Wenxin & Schreger, Jesse, 2013. "Local Currency Sovereign Risk," International Finance Discussion Papers 1094, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    26. Fernando Alvarez & Urban J. Jermann, 2000. "Efficiency, Equilibrium, and Asset Pricing with Risk of Default," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 775-798, July.
    27. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Emmanuel Farhi & Gita Gopinath, 2013. "Crisis and Commitment: Inflation Credibility and the Vulnerability to Sovereign Debt Crises," NBER Working Papers 19516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Ebeke Christian & Fouejieu Armand, 2018. "Inflation targeting and exchange rate regimes in emerging markets," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-24, June.
    29. Wenxin Du & Jesse Schreger, 2016. "Local Currency Sovereign Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(3), pages 1027-1070, June.
    30. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
    31. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Implications of Efficient Risk Sharing without Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 595-609.
    32. Michael V. White & Kurt Schuler, 2009. "Retrospectives: Who Said "Debauch the Currency": Keynes or Lenin?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 213-222, Spring.
    33. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jimfin:v:93:y:2019:i:c:p:313-334 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shang-Jin Wei, 2018. "Managing Financial Globalization: Insights from the Recent Literature," Working Papers id:12586, eSocialSciences.
    3. Wenxin Du & Carolin E. Pflueger & Jesse Schreger, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Portfolios, Bond Risks, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 22592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carlo Galli & Marco Bassetto, 2016. "Is Inflation Default? The Role of Information in Debt Crises," 2016 Meeting Papers 308, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. repec:eee:moneco:v:103:y:2019:i:c:p:52-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Charles Engel, 2019. "Safe U.S. Assets and U.S. Capital Flows," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2019_025, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
    7. Marlene Amstad & Frank Packer & Jimmy Shek, 2018. "Does Sovereign Risk in Local and Foreign Currency Differ?," IMES Discussion Paper Series 18-E-01, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    8. Ricardo Sabbadini, 2017. "Overcoming the Original Sin: Gains from Local Currency External Debt," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2017_27, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    9. Wei, Shang-Jin, 2018. "Managing Financial Globalization: A Guide for Developing Countries Based on the Recent Literature," ADBI Working Papers 804, Asian Development Bank Institute.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

    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:24671. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.