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Regular version of the site

Article

Debt Overhang and Monetary Policy in Czech Republic

HSE Economic Journal. 2018. Vol. 22. No. 3. P. 460-479.

We investigate the consequences of excessive international debt overhang as they relate to both debtor and creditor countries. In particular, we assess the impact of monetary policy on financial stability and how it can be used to smooth borrowers, as well as creditors, consumption over the business cycle. Based on [Goodhart, Peiris, Tsomocos, 2018], we establish that an independent countercyclical monetary policy, that contracts liquidity whenever debt grows whereas it expands it when default rises, reduces volatility of consumption. In effect, monetary policy provides an extra degree of freedom to the policymaker. We implement our approach to the Czech and Eurozone area economies during the 1990s.
In our model, we introduce endogenous default ά la [Shubik, Wilson, 1977], whereby debtors incur a welfare cost in renegotiating their contractual debt obligations that is commensurate to the level of default. However, this cost depends explicitly on the business cycle and it should be countercyclical. Hence, contractionary monetary policy reduces the volume of trade and efficiency, thus increasing default. This occurs as the default cost increases the associated default accelerator channel engenders higher default rates. On the other hand, lower interest rates increase trade efficiency and, consequently, reduce the amplitude of the business cycle and benefit financial stability.
In sum, the appropriate design of monetary policy complements financial stability policy. The modeling of endogenous default allows us to study the interaction of monetary and macroprudential policy.