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The role of institutions in reputation models of sovereign debt

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  • Cole, Harold L.
  • Kehoe, Patrick J.

Abstract

A standard explanation for why sovereign governments repay their debts is that they must maintain a good reputation to easily borrow more. We show that the ability of reputation to support debt depends critically on the assumptions made about institutions. At one extreme, we assume that bankers can default on payments they owe to governments. At the other, we assume that bankers are committed to honoring contracts made with governments. We show that if bankers can default, then a government gets enduring benefits from maintaining a good relationship with bankers and its reputation can support a large amount of borrowing. If, however, bankers must honor their contracts, then a government gets only transient benefits from maintaining a good relationship and its reputation can support zero borrowing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 45-64

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:35:y:1995:i:1:p:45-64

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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References

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  1. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 5131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1980. "Predation, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence," Discussion Papers 427, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  5. Jaffee, Dwight M & Russell, Thomas, 1976. "Imperfect Information, Uncertainty, and Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 651-66, November.
  6. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  7. Jeremy A.Rogoff Bulow & Kenneth, 1986. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 43, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  8. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  9. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  10. Grossman, Herschel I & Van Huyck, John B, 1988. "Sovereign Debt as a Contingent Claim: Excusable Default, Repudiation, and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1088-97, December.
  11. Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
  12. Kletzer, K.M. & Wright, B.D., 1990. "Sovereign Debt Renegotiation In A Consumption-Smoothing Model," Papers 610, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. Fernandez, Raquel & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1990. "Strategic Models of Sovereign-Debt Renegotiations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 331-49, July.
  14. Harold L. Cole & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1996. "Reputation Spillover Across Relationships with Enduring and Transient Beliefs: Reviving reputation Models of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Harold L. Cole & James Dow & William B. English, 1994. "Default, settlement, and signalling: lending resumption in a reputational model of sovereign debt," Staff Report 180, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  17. Abreu, Dilip, 1988. "On the Theory of Infinitely Repeated Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 383-96, March.
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