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The determinants of ‘domestic’ original sin in emerging market economies

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  • Mehl, Arnaud
  • Reynaud, Julien

Abstract

This paper explains why domestic debt composition in emerging economies is risky. It carries out an analysis of the determinants of ‘domestic’ original sin, which refers to the inability of emerging economies to borrow domestically in local currency, at long maturities and fixed interest rates. The latter is a measure of financial vulnerabilities arising from domestic debt composition, which encompasses maturity mismatches, rollover risk and interest payment contingency. The paper builds on a large dataset compiled by the authors from national sources. It finds that domestic original sin is severe when inflation is lofty, the debt service-to-GDP ratio high, the slope of the yield curve inverted and the investor base narrow. These results suggest that sound macroeconomic policies, attractive long-term yields and policies aimed at widening the investor base are instrumental to reduce domestic debt riskiness and tilt its composition towards safer, long-term, unindexed, local currency instruments. JEL Classification: F34, F41, G15

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0560.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050560

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Keywords: domestic debt; emerging economies; Original sin;

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  1. Falcetti, Elisabetta & Missale, Alessandro, 2002. "Public debt indexation and denomination with an independent central bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1825-1850, December.
  2. Fernando A. Broner & Guido Lorenzoni & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2013. "Why Do Emerging Economies Borrow Short Term?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 67-100, 01.
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  6. Jean Tirole, 2003. "Inefficient Foreign Borrowing: A Dual- and Common-Agency Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1678-1702, December.
  7. Morris Goldstein & Philip Turner, 2004. "Controlling Currency Mismatches in Emerging Markets," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 373.
  8. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 1999. "Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2059, The World Bank.
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  12. Flandreau, Marc & Sussman, Nathan, 2004. "Old Sins: Exchange Rate Clauses and European Foreign Lending in the 19th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Missale, Alessandro, 1999. "Public Debt Management," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290858.
  14. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Notes on Optimal Debt Management," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 281-289, November.
  15. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher Meissner & Angela Redish, 2003. "How "Original Sin" was Overcome: The Evolution of External Debt Denominated in Domestic Currencies in the United States and the British Dominions," NBER Working Papers 9841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Drudi, Francesco & Giordano, Raffaela, 2000. "Default risk and optimal debt management," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 861-891, June.
  17. Eduardo Borensztein & Olivier Jeanne & Paolo Mauro & Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Marcos Chamon, 2005. "Sovereign Debt Structure for Crisis Prevention," IMF Occasional Papers 237, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo, 2003. "On the determinants of Original Sin: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 957-990, December.
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