Risk Sharing with the Monarch: Excusable Defaults and Contingent Debt in the Age of Philip II, 1556-1598
AbstractContingent sovereign debt can create important welfare gains. Nonetheless, there is almost no issuance today. Using hand-collected archival data, we examine the first known case of large-scale use of state-contingent sovereign debt in history. Philip II of Spain entered into hundreds of contracts whose value and due date depended on verifiable, exogenous events such as the arrival of silver fleets. We show that this allowed for effective risk-sharing between the king and his bankers. The data also strongly suggest that the defaults that occurred were excusable â€“ they were simply contingencies over which Crown and bankers had not contracted previously.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 578.
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
sovereign debt; syndication; diversification; risk transfer; Spain;
Other versions of this item:
- Maurizio Drelichman & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Risk sharing with the monarch: Excusable defaults and contingent debt in the age of Philip II, 1556-1598," Economics Working Papers 1284, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
- G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
- N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
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- Pezzolo, Luciano & Tattara, Giuseppe, 2008. "“Una fiera senza luogo”: Was Bisenzone an International Capital Market in Sixteenth-Century Italy?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(04), pages 1098-1122, December.
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- Drelichman, Mauricio & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2011.
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- Mauricio Drelichman & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Serial defaults, serial profits: Returns to sovereign lending in Habsburg Spain, 1566-1600," Economics Working Papers 1262, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Drelichman, Mauricio & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2010. "Serial Defaults, Serial Profits: Returns to Sovereign Lending in Habsburg Spain, 1566-1600," UBC Departmental Archives mauricio_drelichman-2010-, UBC Department of Economics, revised 04 Jul 2011.
- Irigoin, A & Grafe, R, 2012. "Bounded Leviathan: or why North & Weingast are only right on the right half," MPRA Paper 39722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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