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Persistent Gaps and Default Traps

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  • Luis A. V. Catao
  • Ana Fostel
  • Sandeep Kapur

    (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)

Abstract

We show how vicious circles in countries’ credit histories arise in a model where output persistence is coupled with asymmetric information between borrowers and lenders about the nature of output shocks. In such an environment, default creates a pessimistic outlook about the borrower’s output path. This translates into higher debt to- expected-output ratios, pushing up interest rates and hence debt servicing costs. By raising the cost of future repayments, this creates “default traps”. We provide empirical support for the model by building a long and broad cross-country dataset spanning over a century. This data is used to provide evidence on the existence of a history dependent “default premium” and to show that the effect of output persistence on sovereign creditworthiness is significant and consistent with the model’s predictions after controlling for other determinants of sovereign risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics in its series Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 0803.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkefp:0803

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Keywords: Sovereign default; spreads; persistence;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rong Qian & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "On Graduation from Default, Inflation and Banking Crises: Elusive or Illusion?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 1-36 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen & Qian, Rong & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2010. "Do countries “graduate” from crises? Some historical perspective," MPRA Paper 24761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Cavalcanti, T.V.de V. & Mohaddes, K. & Raissi, M., 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and the Sources of Growth," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1112, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Aiolfi, Marco & Catão, Luis A. V. & Timmermann, Allan G, 2010. "Common Factors in Latin America’s Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 7671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Luis Catão & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2013. "External Liabilities and Crises," IMF Working Papers 13/113, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Ağca, Şenay & Celasun, Oya, 2012. "Sovereign debt and corporate borrowing costs in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 198-208.
  7. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Andrés Velasco, 2011. "Was This Time Different?: Fiscal Policy in Commodity Republics," BIS Working Papers 365, Bank for International Settlements.
  8. Christoph Trebesch, 2009. "The Cost of Aggressive Sovereign Debt Policies: How Much is thePrivate Sector Affected?," IMF Working Papers 09/29, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Romain Ranciere & Ana Fostel & Luis Catao, 2011. "Sudden Stops and Sovereign Defaults," 2011 Meeting Papers 1359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Ana Fostel & Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 2007. "Latin America's Access to International Capital Markets: Good Behavior or Global Liquidity?," NBER Working Papers 13194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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