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Gambling for Redemption and Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises

  • Timothy Kehoe

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Juan Carlos Conesa

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

We develop a model for analyzing the sovereign debt crises of 2010 and 2011 in such European countries as Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. The government sets its expenditure-debt policy optimally given a fixed probability of a recovery in fiscal revenues. In doing so, the government can optimally choose to “gamble for redemption,†and the economy can be optimally driven to a level of debt that increases its vulnerability to self-fulfilling debt crises. The model explains why, in contrast to the Mexican crisis of 1994–95, where a loan package put together by U.S. President Bill Clinton put an immediate end to the crisis, rescue packages put together by the European Union do not seem to have ended the crises in Greece, Ireland, or Portugal.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 614.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:614
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
  2. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Timothy J, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116, January.
  3. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
  4. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2007. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," NBER Working Papers 13076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Cesar Sosa-Padilla, 2014. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," Department of Economics Working Papers 2014-06, McMaster University.
  6. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Uninsured idiosyncratic risk and aggregate saving," Working Papers 502, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Sosa-Padilla, Cesar, 2012. "Sovereign Defaults and Banking Crises," MPRA Paper 41074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  9. Guido Lorenzoni & Ivan Werning, 2014. "Slow Moving Debt Crises," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000939, David K. Levine.
  10. Reinhart, Carmen, 2009. "The Second Great Contraction," MPRA Paper 21485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
  12. Cristina Arellano & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2012. "Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 187 - 232.
  13. Chamley Christophe P & Pinto Brian, 2011. "Why Official Bailouts Tend Not To Work: An Example Motivated by Greece 2010," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-5, February.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
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