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Modeling credit contagion via the updating of fragile beliefs
We propose a tractable equilibrium model for pricing defaultable bonds that are subject to contagion risk. Contagion arises because agents with ?fragile beliefs? are uncertain about both the underlying state of the economy and the posterior probabilities associated with these states. As such, agents adopt a robust decision rule for updating that leads them to over-weight the posterior probabilities of ?bad? states. We estimate the model using panel data on sovereign Euro-zone CDS spreads during the recent crisis, and find that it captures levels and dynamics of spreads better than traditional ...
Is Poland the next Spain?
The authors revisit Western Europe?s record with labor?productivity convergence and tentatively extrapolate its implications for the future path of Eastern Europe. The poorer Western European countries caught up with the richer ones through both higher rates of physical capital accumulation and greater total factor productivity (TFP) gains. These (relatively) high rates of capital accumulation and TFP growth reflect convergence along two margins. One margin (between industries) is a massive reallocation of labor from agriculture to manufacturing and services, which have higher capital ...
One-size-fits-all monetary policy: Europe and the U.S.
The ongoing euro-area crisis is seen by many as vindication of skeptics who said that a monetary union encompassing a disparate group of countries is doomed to fail because the countries do not constitute what economists call an optimum currency area. Thus, they argued, a one-size-fits-all monetary policy that goes with participation in an alliance such as the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) creates strains that ultimately prove insurmountable.