Is Banks’ Home Bias Good or Bad for Public Debt Sustainability?

Author/Editor:

Tamon Asonuma ; Said A Bakhache ; Heiko Hesse

Publication Date:

February 27, 2015

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

Motivated by the recent increase in domestic banks’ holdings of domestic sovereign debt (i.e., home bias) in the European periphery, this paper analyzes implications of banks’ home bias for the sovereign’s debt sustainability. The main findings, based on a sample of advanced (AM) and emerging market (EM) economies, suggest that home bias generally reduces the cost of borrowing for AMs and EMs when debt levels are moderate to high. A worsening of market sentiments appears to dimish the favorable impact of home bias on cost of borrowing particularly for EMs. In addition, for AMs and EMs, higher home bias is associated with higher debt levels, and less responsive fiscal policy. The findings suggest that home bias indeed matters for debt sustainability: Home bias may provide fiscal breathing space, but delays in fiscal consolidation may actually delay problems until debt reaches dangerously high levels.

Series:

Working Paper No. 15/44

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

February 27, 2015

ISBN/ISSN:

9781498323505/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2015044

Format:

Paper

Pages:

37

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