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Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Globalization Institute Working Papers
Bank crises and sovereign defaults in emerging markets: exploring the links
Irina Balteanu
Aitor Erce

This paper provides a set of stylized facts on the mechanisms through which banking and sovereign distress feed into each other, using a large sample of emerging economies over three decades. We first define “twin crises” as events where banking crises and sovereign defaults combine, and further distinguish between those banking crises that end up in sovereign debt crises, and vice-versa. We then assess what differentiates “single” episodes from “twin” ones. Using an event analysis methodology, we study the behavior around crises of variables describing the balance sheet interconnection between the banking and public sectors, the characteristics of the banking sector, the state of public finances, and the macroeconomic context. We find that there are systematic differences between “single” and “twin” crises across all these dimensions. Additionally, we find that “twin” crises are heterogeneous events: taking into account the proper time sequence of crises that compose “twin” episodes is important for understanding their drivers, transmission channels and economic consequences. Our results shed light on mechanisms surrounding feedback loops of sovereign and banking stress.

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Irina Balteanu & Aitor Erce, Bank crises and sovereign defaults in emerging markets: exploring the links, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Globalization Institute Working Papers 184, 01 Jun 2014.
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Keywords: bank crises; sovereign debt
DOI: 10.24149/gwp184
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