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Circulating Private Debt: An Example with a Coordination Problem

Working Paper 209 | Published May 1, 1984

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Authors

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Robert Townsend Economics Professor, University of Chicago

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Neil Wallace

Circulating Private Debt: An Example with a Coordination Problem

Abstract

We use a model of pure, intertemporal exchange with spatially and information-ally separated markets to explain the existence of private securities which circulate and, hence, play a prominent role in exchange. The model, which utilizes a perfect foresight equilibrium concept, implies that a Schelling-type coordination problem can arise. It can happen that the amounts of circulating securities that are required to support an equilibrium and that are issued at the same time in informationally separated markets must satisfy restrictions not implied by individual maximization and market clearing in each market separately.