The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Several papers argue that debt crises can be the result of self-fulfilling expectations that no one will lend to a country. I show this type of coordination failure can be eliminated by a combination of state-contingent securities and a mechanism that allows investors to promise to lend only if enough other investors do so as well. This suggests that runs on the debt of a single borrower (such as the government) can be eliminated, and that self-fulfilling features are more plausible when articulated in a context in which externalities among many decentralized borrowers allow for economy-wide debt runs to occur.