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Bailouts, Moral Hazard, and Banks’ Home Bias for Sovereign Debt


  • Ariel Zetlin-Jones

    (Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Gaetano Gaballo

    (Banque de France)


We show that an increase in banks’ holdings of domestic sovereign debt decreases the ability of domestic Sovereigns to successfully enact bailouts. When Sovereigns finance bailouts with newly issued debt and the price of sovereign debt is sensitive to unanticipated debt issues, then bailouts dilute the value of banks’ sovereign debt holdings rendering bailouts less effective. We explore this feedback mechanism in a model of financial intermediation in which banks are subject to managerial moral hazard and ex ante optimality requires lenders to commit to ex post inefficient bank liquidations. A benevolent Sovereign may desire to enact bailouts to prevent such liquidations thereby neutralizing lenders’ commitment. In this context, home bias for sovereign debt may arise as a mechanism to deter bailouts and restore lenders’ commitment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariel Zetlin-Jones & Gaetano Gaballo, 2016. "Bailouts, Moral Hazard, and Banks’ Home Bias for Sovereign Debt," 2016 Meeting Papers 876, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:876

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    Cited by:

    1. Roch, Francisco & Uhlig, Harald, 2018. "The dynamics of sovereign debt crises and bailouts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-13.
    2. Eichler, Stefan & Rövekamp, Ingmar, 2017. "Eurozone exit risk," CEPIE Working Papers 07/17, Technische Universität Dresden, Center of Public and International Economics (CEPIE).
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano & Ricardo Reis & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Dimitri Vayanos, 2017. "ESBies: safety in the tranches," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(90), pages 175-219.
    4. Anne-Laure Delatte & Julien Fouquau & Richard Portes, 2017. "Regime-Dependent Sovereign Risk Pricing During the Euro Crisis," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(1), pages 363-385.
    5. Ben R. Craig & Margherita Giuzio & Sandra Paterlini, 2019. "The Effect of Possible EU Diversification Requirements on the Risk of Banks’ Sovereign Bond Portfolios," Working Papers 19-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Alexander Harin, 2022. "Forbidden Zones for the Expectations of Data: New Mathematical Methods and Models for Behavioral Economics," Academic Journal of Applied Mathematical Sciences, Academic Research Publishing Group, vol. 8(1), pages 12-26, 12-2021.
    7. Capponi, Agostino & Corell, Felix & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2022. "Optimal bailouts and the doom loop with a financial network," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 35-50.
    8. Böhm, Hannes & Eichler, Stefan, 2018. "Avoiding the fall into the loop: Isolating the transmission of bank-to-sovereign distress in the euro area and its drivers," IWH Discussion Papers 19/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Matthew Greenwood‐Nimmo & Viet Hoang Nguyen & Eliza Wu, 2021. "On the International Spillover Effects of Country‐Specific Financial Sector Bailouts and Sovereign Risk Shocks," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 97(317), pages 285-309, June.
    10. Harin, Alexander, 2021. "Behavioral economics. Forbidden zones. New method and models," MPRA Paper 106545, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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