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Vincent Bignon

24 February 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2027
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Abstract
This paper shows that a central bank can more efficiently mitigate economic crises when it broadens eligibility for its discount facility to any safe asset or solvent agent. We use difference-in-differences panel regressions and emulate crises by studying how defaults of banks and non-agricultural firms were affected by the arrival of an agricultural disease. We exploit the specificities of the implementation of the discount window to deal with the endogeneity of the access to the central bank to the arrival of the crisis and local default rates. We find that broad eligibility reduced significantly the increase in the default rate when the shock hit the local economy. A counterfactual exercise shows that defaults would have been 10% to 15% higher if the central bank would have implemented the strictest eligibility rule. This effect is identified independently of changes in policy interest rates and the fiscal deficit.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E51 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Money Supply, Credit, Money Multipliers
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
N14 : Economic History→Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics, Industrial Structure, Growth, Fluctuations→Europe: 1913?
N54 : Economic History→Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries→Europe: 1913?