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Contagion of Financial Crises in Sovereign Debt Markets

This paper develops a quantitative model of contagion of financial crisis and sovereign default for small open economies that cannot credibly commit to honor their international debts and have common international risk averse investors. The existence of common investors with preferences that exhibit decreasing absolute risk aversion (DARA) generates financial links between the emerging economies sovereign debt markets that help to explain the endogenous determination of credit limits, capital flows, and the risk premium in sovereign bond prices as function not only of the economy's fundamentals, the investors' characteristics (wealth, and degree of risk aversion) but more importantly of the fundamentals of other emerging economies. Therefore this paper provides a theoretical formalization that is the base for and endogenous explanation of the contagion of financial crises. The model shows that whenever a country suffers a domestic shock that forces it to default in its debts, this domestic shock will affect the investor's wealth and therefore her tolerance of risk, producing a contagion of the crisis in those countries whose fundamentals are not solid enough. Also, even when the crisis in a country does not force such country to default, the domestic shock affects the overall riskiness of the investor's portfolio, forcing her to rebalance it. In this case the investor moves away from countries that are ``too'' risky towards countries that are relatively solid, exhibiting a behavior consistent with the observed phenomena denominated as ``flight to quality''. Quantitatively, the application of the model to the case of the Argentinean default of $2001$ and the posterior contagion of the crisis to the neighboring country Uruguay shows that the model with financial links is not only consistent with the business cycle behavior of emerging economies considered but it is also superior to models that do not contemplate such links in the following dimensions: i.) the model explains a larger proportion and volatility of the spread between sovereign bonds and riskless assets; ii.) the model explains endogenously the positive correlation between the economies' sovereign bonds spreads, debt flows and consumptions, and iii.) the model exhibits the behavior observed in the data of higher volatility and comovement of the series of emerging economies during periods of volatility in financial markets prompted by the crisis in some emerging country.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20795.

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Date of creation: 06 Feb 2009
Date of revision: 06 Feb 2010
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20795
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  7. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2009. "Heterogeneous Borrowers In Quantitative Models Of Sovereign Default," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1129-1151, November.
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  17. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000. "Crisis financieras en Asia y Latinoamerica: ahora y entonces
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  18. Taimur Baig & Ilan Goldfajn, 2000. "The Russian Default and the Contagion to Brazil," IMF Working Papers 00/160, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Kenneth M. Kletzer & Brian D. Wright, 2000. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," International Finance 0003004, EconWPA.
  20. Kristin Forbes, 2000. "The Asian Flu and Russian Virus: Firm-level Evidence on How Crises are Transmitted Internationally," NBER Working Papers 7807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Xinshen Diao & Wenli Li & Erinc Yeldan, 2000. "How the Asian crisis affected the world economy : a general equilibrium perspective," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 35-59.
  22. Igor Livshits & James MacGee & Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Consumer Bankruptcy: A Fresh Start," Discussion Papers 04-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  23. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
  25. Cuadra, Gabriel & Sapriza, Horacio, 2008. "Sovereign default, interest rates and political uncertainty in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 78-88, September.
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