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Debt Levels, Debt Composition, and Sovereign Spreads in Emerging and Advanced Economies

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  • Dell'Erba, Salvatore

    (Graduate Institute, Geneva)

  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard University)

  • Panizza, Ugo

    (Graduate Institute, Geneva)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between sovereign spreads and the interaction between debt composition and debt levels in advanced and emerging market countries. It finds that in emerging market countries there is a significant correlation between spreads and debt levels. This correlation, however, is not statistically significant in countries where most public debt is denominated in local currency. In advanced economies, the magnitude of the correlation between debt levels and spreads is about one fifth of the corresponding correlation for emerging market economies. In Eurozone countries, however, the correlation between spreads and debt ratios is similar to that of emerging market countries. The paper also shows that the financial crisis amplified the relationship between spreads and debt levels within the Eurozone but had no effect on the relationship between spreads and debt in standalone countries. Finally, the paper shows that the relationship between debt levels and spreads is amplified by the presence of large net foreign liabilities. This amplifying effect of net foreign liabilities is larger in the Eurozone than in standalone advanced economies. The paper concludes that debt composition matters and corroborates the original sin hypothesis that, rather than being a mere reflection of institutional weaknesses, the presence of foreign currency debt increases financial fragility and leads to suboptimal macroeconomic policies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp13-028.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp13-028

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "Growth in a Time of Debt," NBER Working Papers 15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ugo Panizza & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 78, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  3. C. Emre Alper & Lorenzo Forni, 2011. "Public Debt in Advanced Economies and its Spillover Effectson Long-Term Yields," IMF Working Papers 11/210, International Monetary Fund.
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  5. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 371, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Panizza, Ugo & Presbitero, Andrea F., 2012. "Public debt and economic growth: Is there a causal effect?," POLIS Working Papers 168, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  7. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo & Stein, Ernesto, 2001. "Why do countries float the way they float?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 387-414, December.
  8. Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2010. "Total public debt and growth in developing countries," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 44, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," NBER Working Papers 9908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Thomas Herndon & Michael Ash & Robert Pollin, 2013. "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogo ff," Working Papers wp322, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  11. Anastasia Guscina & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "Government Debt in Emerging Market Countries," IMF Working Papers 06/98, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Martín González Rozada, 2005. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Business School Working Papers globalfactorsspreads, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  13. Joshua Greene & Delano Villanueva, 1991. "Private Investment in Developing Countries: An Empirical Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(1), pages 33-58, March.
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  15. Morris Goldstein & Philip Turner, 2004. "Controlling Currency Mismatches in Emerging Markets," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 373.
  16. Thomas Laubach, 2009. "New Evidence on the Interest Rate Effects of Budget Deficits and Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 858-885, 06.
  17. Tito Cordella & Luca Antonio Ricci & Marta Ruiz-Arranz, 2010. "Debt Overhang or Debt Irrelevance?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(1), pages 1-24, April.
  18. Hausmann Ricardo & Panizza Ugo, 2011. "Redemption or Abstinence? Original Sin, Currency Mismatches and Counter Cyclical Policies in the New Millennium," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-35, August.
  19. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Donghyun Park, 2013. "Fundamentals and Sovereign Risk of Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 18963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Ugo Panizza, 2008. "Domestic And External Public Debt In Developing Countries," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 188, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  21. Nazim Belhocine & Salvatore Dell'Erba, 2013. "The Impact of Debt Sustainability and the Level of Debt on Emerging Markets Spreads," IMF Working Papers 13/93, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Lorenzo Codogno & Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2003. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 503-532, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They're Different: Heterogeneity;and Nonlinearity in the Relationship;between Debt and Growth," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 92, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.

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