NBER Publications by Jesse Schreger

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September 2016Sovereign Debt Portfolios, Bond Risks, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy
with Wenxin Du, Carolin E. Pflueger: w22592
Nominal debt provides consumption-smoothing benefits if it can be inflated away during recessions. However, we document empirically that countries with more countercyclical inflation, where nominal debt provides better consumption-smoothing, issue more foreign-currency debt. We propose that monetary policy credibility explains the currency composition of sovereign debt and nominal bond risks in the presence of risk-averse investors. In our model, low credibility governments inflate during recessions, generating excessively countercyclical inflation in addition to the standard inflationary bias. With countercyclical inflation, investors require risk premia on nominal debt, making nominal debt issuance costly for low credibility governments. We provide empirical support for this mechanism, s...
June 2016Bias in Official Fiscal Forecasts: Can Private Forecasts Help?
with Jeffrey A. Frankel: w22349
Government forecasts of GDP growth and budget balances are generally more over-optimistic than private sector forecasts. When official forecasts are especially optimistic relative to private forecasts ex ante, they are more likely also to be over-optimistic relative to realizations ex post. For example, euro area governments during the period 1999-2007 assiduously and inaccurately avoided forecasting deficit levels that would exceed the 3% Stability and Growth Pact threshold; meanwhile private sector forecasters were not subject to this crude bias. As a result, using private sector forecasts as an input into the government budgeting-making process would probably reduce official forecast errors for budget deficits.
May 2016The Costs of Sovereign Default: Evidence from Argentina
with Benjamin H├ębert: w22270
We estimate the causal effect of sovereign default on the equity returns of Argentine firms. We identify this effect by exploiting changes in the probability of Argentine sovereign default induced by legal rulings in the case of Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital. We find that a 10% increase in the probability of default causes a 6% decline in the value of Argentine equities and a 1% depreciation of a measure of the exchange rate. We examine the channels through which a sovereign default may affect the economy.
August 2012Over-optimistic Official Forecasts in the Eurozone and Fiscal Rules
with Jeffrey A. Frankel: w18283
Why do countries find it so hard to get their budget deficits under control? Systematic patterns in the errors that official budget agencies make in their forecasts may play an important role. Although many observers have suggested that fiscal discipline can be restored via fiscal rules such as a legal cap on the budget deficit, forecasting bias can defeat such rules. The members of the eurozone are supposedly constrained by the fiscal caps of the Stability and Growth Pact. Yet ever since the birth of the euro in 1999, members have postponed painful adjustment by making overly optimistic forecasts of future growth and budget positions and arguing that the deficits will fall below the cap within a year or two. The new fiscal compact among the euro countries is supposed to make budget ...

Published: Review of World Economics June 2013, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 247-272 Date: 14 Feb 2013 Over-optimistic official forecasts and fiscal rules in the eurozone Jeffrey Frankel, Jesse Schreger

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