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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. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Research Department Publications 4480, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. 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.
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  6. Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza & Ernesto H. Stein, 2000. "Why Do Countries Float the Way They Float?," Research Department Publications 4205, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Ugo Panizza & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 175-204, June.
  8. Anastasia Guscina & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "Government Debt in Emerging Market Countries: A New Data Set," IMF Working Papers 06/98, International Monetary Fund.
  9. C. Emre Alper & Lorenzo Forni, 2011. "Public Debt in Advanced Economies and its Spillover Effects on Long-term Yields," IMF Working Papers 11/210, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Ugo Panizza & Andrea Filippo Presbitero, 2012. "Public Debt and Economic Growth: Is There a Causal Effect?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 65, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  11. 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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  13. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Ugo Panizza, 2008. "Domestic And External Public Debt In Developing Countries," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 188, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  17. 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.
  18. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Donghyun Park, 2013. "Fundamentals and Sovereign Risk of Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 18963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They’re Different: Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity in the Relationship between Debt and Growth," Discussion Papers 2013/10, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

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