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Jel Classification:G15 

Working Paper
Policy Interventions in Sovereign Debt Restructurings
The wave of sovereign defaults in the early 1980s and the string of debt crises in the decades that followed have fostered proposals involving policy interventions in sovereign debt restructurings. A key question about these proposals that has proved hard to handle is how they in influence the behavior of creditors and debtors. We address such challenge by incorporating these policy proposals into a quantitative model in the tradition of Eaton and Gersovitz (1981) that includes renegotiation in sovereign debt restructurings. Critically, the model also endogenizes the choice of debt maturity, an essential aspect of sovereign defaults and restructurings. We evaluate several policy interventions, and we identify the crucial features that matter to improve the outcome of distressed debt restructurings and reduce the frequency of debt distress events.
AUTHORS: Dvorkin, Maximiliano; Sanchez, Juan M.; Sapriza, Horacio; Yurdagul, Emircan
DATE: 2019-11-15

Working Paper
News, sovereign debt maturity, and default risk
Leading into a debt crisis, interest rate spreads on sovereign debt rise before the economy experiences a decline in productivity, suggesting that news about future economic developments may play an important role in these episodes. In a VAR estimation, a news shock has a larger contemporaneous impact on sovereign credit spreads than a comparable shock to labor productivity. A quantitative model of news and sovereign debt default with endogenous maturity choice generates impulse responses and a variance decomposition similar to the empirical VAR estimates. The dynamics of the economy after a bad news shock share some features of a productivity shock and others of sudden stop events. However, unlike episodes of sudden stops, long-term debt does not shield the country from bad news shocks, and it may even exacerbate default risk. Finally, an increase in the precision of news allows the government to improve its debt maturity management, especially during periods of high stress in credit markets, and thus face lower yield spreads while increasing the amount of debt.
AUTHORS: Dvorkin, Maximiliano; Sanchez, Juan M.; Sapriza, Horacio; Yurdagul, Emircan
DATE: 2018-10-31

Working Paper
Why Are Exchange Rates So Smooth? A Household Finance Explanation
Empirical moments of asset prices and exchange rates imply that pricing kernels are almost perfectly correlated across countries. Otherwise, observed real exchange rates would be too smooth for high Sharpe ratios. However, the cross country correlation among macro fundamentals is weak. We reconcile these facts in a two-country stochastic growth model with heterogeneous households and a home bias in consumption. In our model, only a small fraction of households trade domestic and foreign equities. We show that this mechanism can quantitatively account for the smoothness of exchange rates in the presence of volatile pricing kernels and weakly correlated macro fundamentals.
AUTHORS: Chien, YiLi; Lustig, Hanno; Naknoi, Kanda
DATE: 2015-11-27

Working Paper
International Stock Comovements with Endogenous Clusters
We use an endogenous cluster factor model to examine international stock return comovements of country-industry portfolios. Our model allows country-industry portfolio comovements to be driven by a global and a cluster component, with the cluster membership endogenously determined. Results indicate that country-industry portfolios tend to cluster mainly within geographical areas that can include one or more countries. The cluster component was the main driver of country-industry portfolio returns for most of the sample, except from mid-2000 to mid-2010s when the global component had a more prominent role. At the end of the sample, a large cluster among European countries emerges.
AUTHORS: Coroneo, Laura; Jackson, Laura E.; Owyang, Michael T.
DATE: 2018-10-24

Working Paper
The role of jumps in volatility spillovers in foreign exchange markets: meteor shower and heat waves revisited
This paper extends the previous literature on geographic (heat waves) and intertemporal (meteor showers) foreign exchange volatility transmission to characterize the role of jumps and cross-rate propagation. We employ heterogeneous autoregressive (HAR) models to capture the quasi-long-memory properties of volatility and the Shapley-Owen R2 measure to quantify the contributions of components. We conclude that meteor showers are more influential than heat waves, that jumps play a modest but significant role in volatility transmission and that significant, bidirectional cross-rate volatility transmission exists. Finally, we illustrate what types of news weaken or strengthen heat wave and meteor shower effects with sensitivity analysis.
AUTHORS: Lahaye, Jerome; Neely, Christopher J.
DATE: 2014-10-01

Working Paper
Sovereign Debt Restructurings
Sovereign debt crises involve debt restructurings characterized by a mix of face-value haircuts and maturity extensions. The prevalence of maturity extensions has been hard to reconcile with economic theory. We develop a model of endogenous debt restructuring that captures key facts of sovereign debt and restructuring episodes. While debt dilution pushes for negative maturity extensions, three factors are important in overcoming the effects of dilution and generating maturity extensions upon restructurings: income recovery after default, credit exclusion after restructuring, and regulatory costs of book-value haircuts. We employ dynamic discrete choice methods that allow for smoother decision rules, rendering the problem tractable.
AUTHORS: Sanchez, Juan M.; Dvorkin, Maximiliano; Yurdagul, Emircan; Sapriza, Horacio
DATE: 2018-06-25

Working Paper
Sovereign Default and the Choice of Maturity
This study develops a novel model of endogenous sovereign debt maturity choice that rationalizes various stylized facts about debt maturity and the yield spread curve: first, sovereign debt duration and maturity generally exceed one year, and co-move positively with the business cycle. Second, sovereign yield spread curves are usually non-linear and upward-sloped, and may become non-monotonic and inverted during a period of high credit market stress, such as a default episode. Finally, output volatility, sudden stops, impatience and risk aversion are key determinants of maturity, both in our model and in the data.
AUTHORS: Sanchez, Juan M.; Sapriza, Horacio; Yurdagul, Emircan
DATE: 2014-10-27

Journal Article
Peas in a pod? Comparing the U.S. and Danish mortgage finance systems
Like the United States, Denmark relies heavily on capital markets for funding residential mortgages, and its covered bond market bears a number of similarities to U.S. agency securitization. This article describes the key features of the Danish mortgage finance system and compares and contrasts them with those of the U.S. system. In addition, it highlights characteristics of the Danish model that may be of interest as the United States considers further mortgage finance reform. In particular, the Danish system includes features that mitigate refinancing frictions during periods of falling home prices, and it offers borrowers the option to repurchase their mortgage at the market price, mitigating ?lock-in? effects. Danish mortgage intermediaries also have high capital ratios relative to their risk exposures, a characteristic that contributes to the stability of the Danish market.
AUTHORS: Berg, Jesper; Vickery, James; Nielsen, Morten Bækmand
DATE: 2018

Report
Sovereign risk and firm heterogeneity
This paper studies the recessionary effects of sovereign default risk using firm-level data and a model of sovereign debt with firm heterogeneity. Our environment features a two-way feedback loop. Low output decreases the tax revenues of the government and raises the risk that it will default on its debt. The associated increase in sovereign interest rate spreads, in turn, raises the interest rates paid by firms, which further depresses their production. Importantly, these effects are not homogeneous across firms, as interest rate hikes have more severe consequences for firms that are in need of borrowing. Our approach consists of using these cross-sectional implications of the model, together with micro data, to measure the effects that sovereign risk has on real economic activity. In an application to Italy, we find that the progressive heightening of sovereign risk during the recent crisis was responsible for 50% of the observed decline in output.
AUTHORS: Arellano, Cristina; Bocola, Luigi; Bai, Yan
DATE: 2017-03-22

Report
Fiscal Unions Redux
Before the advent of sophisticated international financial markets, a widely accepted belief was that within a monetary union, a union-wide authority orchestrating fiscal transfers between countries is necessary to provide adequate insurance against country-specific economic fluctuations. A natural question is then: Do sophisticated international financial markets obviate the need for such an active union-wide authority? We argue that they do. Specifically, we show that in a benchmark economy with no international financial markets, an activist union-wide authority is necessary to achieve desirable outcomes. With sophisticated financial markets, however, such an authority is unnecessary if its only goal is to provide cross-country insurance. Since restricting the set of policy instruments available to member countries does not create a fiscal externality across them, this result holds in a wide variety of settings. Finally, we establish that an activist union-wide authority concerned just with providing insurance across member countries is optimal only when individual countries are either unable or unwilling to pursue desirable policies.
AUTHORS: Kehoe, Patrick J.; Pastorino, Elena
DATE: 2017-02-21

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