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Inefficient Private Renegotiation of Sovereign Debt

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  • Kletzer, Kenneth

Abstract

The literature on sovereign debt emphasizes that international financial transactions are impeded because the fulfilment of contractual obligations by a government is time-inconsistent. The process of renegotiation between private creditors and debtor governments can create further inefficiencies in the world allocation of capital. In this paper, two potential sources of social cost in the private renegotiation of debt repayments and new loans are discussed. First, legal privileges accorded to existing creditors by their collective governments can render time-consistent the efficient allocation of capital constrained by sovereign immunity when there is ex post bargaining over net transfers. The absence of possibilities for full commitment by creditors implies that the outcomes achievable with ex post bargaining of simple debt contracts differ from those achievable with state-contingent contracts, as conceived in the literature. Second, the use of offers in a renegotiation to elicit private information about debtor characteristics is socially costly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 357.

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Date of creation: Dec 1989
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:357

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Keywords: Asymmetric Information; Debt Renegotiation; Sovereign Immunity;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1990. "LDC Debt: Forgiveness, Indexation, and Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 2541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Admati, Anat R & Perry, Motty, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 345-64, July.
  4. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  5. Kletzer, K.M., 1988. "Sovereign Debt Renegotiation Under Asymmetric Information," Papers 555, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  6. Sobel, Joel & Takahashi, Ichiro, 1983. "A Multistage Model of Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 411-26, July.
  7. Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 2088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Debt with potential repudiation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1099-1109, July.
  9. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan, 1990. "Debt Relief and the International Enforcement of Loan Contracts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 43-56, Winter.
  11. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  12. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  13. Raquel Fernandez & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1988. "Sovereign-debt Renegotiations: A Strategic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Kletzer, Kenneth M, 1984. "Asymmetries of Information and LDC Borrowing with Sovereign Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 287-307, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Kenneth M. Kletzer and Brian D. Wright., 1998. "Sovereign Debt as Intertemporal Barter," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-100, University of California at Berkeley.

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