AbstractSome argue that sovereign debt incurred without the consent of the people and not for their benefit, such as that of apartheid South Africa, should be considered odious and not transferable to successor governments. We argue that an institution that truthfully announced whether regimes are odious could create an equilibrium in which successor governments suffer no reputational loss from failure to repay odious debt and hence creditors curtail odious lending. Equilibria with odious lending could be eliminated by amending creditor country laws to prevent seizure of assets for failure to repay odious debt and restricting foreign assistance to countries not repaying odious debt. Shutting down the borrowing capacity of illegitimate regimes can be viewed as a form of economic sanction and has two advantages over most sanctions: it helps rather than hurts the population, and it does not create incentives for evasion by third parties. However, an institution empowered to assess regimes might falsely term debt odious if it favored debtors, and if creditors anticipate this, they would not make loans to legitimate governments. An institution empowered only to declare future lending to a particular government odious would have greater incentives to judge truthfully. A similar approach could be used to reduce moral hazard associated with World Bank and IMF loans.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8953.
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Seema Jayachandran & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Odious Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 82-92, March.
Note: EFG IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
- K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harold L. Cole & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1996. "Reputation spillover across relationships: reviving reputation models of debt," Staff Report 209, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998.
"Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
209, David K. Levine.
- Jeremy I. Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," NBER Working Papers 2623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Papers 411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Working papers 8813, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995.
Handbook of International Economics,
in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077
- Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 5131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eaton, J. & Fernandez, R., 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Papers 37, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 59, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Geoffrey Brennan & Giuseppe Eusepi, 2002. "The Dubious Ethics of Debt Default," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(6), pages 546-561, November.
- Seema Jayachandran, 2004.
UCLA Economics Online Papers
298, UCLA Department of Economics.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.