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Market opinions, fundamentals and the euro-sovereign debt crisis

  • Roberto Tamborini

    ()

The unprecedented sovereign debt crisis across the European Monetary Union has prompted a new generation of models with "self-fulfilling" attacks to public debt. The key idea is that governments may be forced to default even though initial fundamental fiscal variables are sound. The model presented in this paper has two main features: (i) the government's default decision arises out of a cost-benefit analysis that sets the sustainable limit of the solvency primary balance; (ii) investors have no direct information about this variable, and are charaterized by a frequency distribution of "educated opinions". As a consequence, a "good" and "bad" state of the debt market are possibile; the latter is unstable and the model identifies an attraction domain of default within which the government is bound to default although initial solvency conditions are sustainable. A novel feature of the models is that the extent of this domain may be larger or smaller depending on the interplay between fiscal fundamentals and the distribution of investors' opinions. I then discuss several issues concerning the role of initial conditions, fiscal shocks, and the policy options to escape from the default domain. Under this new light, the institutional design of the European Monetary Union now appears seriously deficient and largely co-responsible for the gravity of the crisis

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1210.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:1210
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  1. Giavazzi, Francesco & Pagano, Marco, 1995. "Non-Keynesian Effects of Fiscal Policy Changes: International Evidence and the Swedish Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 1284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul De Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2012. "Self-Fulfilling Crises in the Eurozone. An Empirical Test," CESifo Working Paper Series 3821, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Favero, Carlo A. & Missale, Alessandro, 2011. "Sovereign spreads in the Euro area: Which prospects for a Eurobond?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8637, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Roberto Tamborini, 2011. "The new rules of the Stability and Growth Pact. Threats from heterogeneity and interdependence," Department of Economics Working Papers 1104, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  5. Giancarlo Corsetti & Keith Kuester & Andre Meier & Gernot J. Mueller, 2010. "Debt Consolidation and Fiscal Stabilization of Deep Recessions," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/03, European University Institute.
  6. De Grauwe, Paul & Ji, Yuemei, 2012. "Self-Fulfilling Crises in the Eurozone: An Empirical Test," CEPS Papers 7085, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  7. Pablo Burriel & Francisco de Castro Fernández & Daniel Garrote & Esther Gordo & Joan Paredes & Javier J. Pérez García, 2010. "Fiscal Multipliers in the Euro Area," Revista de Economía y Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Instituto de Economía y Finanzas, vol. 0(2), pages 7–27, July.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
  9. De Grauwe, Paul, 2011. "Governance of a Fragile Eurozone," CEPS Papers 5523, Centre for European Policy Studies.
  10. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2000. "When Capital Inflows Come to a Sudden Stop: Consequences and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 6982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Daniel Gros & Cianzia Alcidi, 2011. "Adjustment Difficulties and Debt Overhangs in the Eurozone Periphery," Working Papers LuissLab 1192, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  12. Edda Zoli & Silvia Sgherri, 2009. "Euro Area Sovereign Risk During the Crisis," IMF Working Papers 09/222, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
  14. Russell Cooper, 2012. "Fragile Debt and the Credible Sharing of Strategic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 18377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Simone Manganelli & Guido Wolswijk, 2009. "What drives spreads in the euro area government bond market?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 191-240, 04.
  16. Antonio Di Cesare & Giuseppe Grande & Michele Manna & Marco Taboga, 2012. "Recent estimates of sovereign risk premia for euro-area countries," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 128, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  17. Miguel A. Segoviano Basurto & Carlos Caceres & Vincenzo Guzzo, 2010. "Sovereign Spreads; Global Risk Aversion, Contagion or Fundamentals?," IMF Working Papers 10/120, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973.
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