DP9723 Sovereign risk and belief-driven fluctuations in the euro area
Sovereign risk premia in several euro area countries have risen markedly since 2008, driving up credit spreads in the private sector as well. We propose a New Keynesian model of a two-region monetary union that accounts for this "sovereign risk channel." The model is calibrated to the euro area as of mid-2012. We show that a combination of sovereign risk in one region and strongly procyclical fiscal policy at the aggregate level exacerbates the risk of belief-driven deflationary downturns. The model provides an argument in favor of coordinated, asymmetric fiscal stances as a way to prevent self-fulfilling debt crises.