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Debt intolerance

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  • Reinhart, Carmen
  • Rogoff, Kenneth
  • Savastano, Miguel

Abstract

This paper introduces the concept of “debt intolerance,” which manifests itself in the extreme duress many emerging markets experience at debt levels that would seem manageable by advanced country standards. We argue that “safe” external debt-to-GNP thresholds for debt intolerant countries are low, perhaps as low as 15 percent in some cases. These thresholds depend on a country’s default and inflation history. Debt intolerance is linked to the phenomenon of serial default that has plagued many countries over the past two centuries. Understanding and measuring debt intolerance is fundamental to assess the problems of debt sustainability, debt restructuring, capital market integration, and the scope for international lending to ameliorate crises. Our goal is to make a first pass at quantifying debt intolerance, including delineating debtors’ clubs and regions of vulnerability, on the basis on a history of credit events going back to the 1820s for over 100 countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13932.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13932

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Keywords: debt credibility credit risk default domestic debt dollarization sustainable;

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References

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  1. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2004. "When it Rains, it Pours: Procyclical Capital Flows and Macroeconomic Policies," NBER Working Papers 10780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. M. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Fiscal consequences for Mexico of adopting the dollar," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 597-625.
  4. Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "International Institutions for Reducing Global Financial Instability," NBER Working Papers 7265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Default, Currency Crises and Sovereign Credit Ratings," NBER Working Papers 8738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2003. "Twin Fallacies About Exchange Rate Policy in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 9670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Addicted to Dollars," NBER Working Papers 10015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "Cleaning Up Third World Debt without Getting Taken to the Cleaners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 31-42, Winter.
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  11. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  12. William R. Cline, 1995. "International Debt Reexamined," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 46, July.
  13. John Williamson, 2002. "Is Brazil Next?," Policy Briefs PB02-07, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  14. Velasco, Andres, 1996. "Fixed exchange rates: Credibility, flexibility and multiplicity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1023-1035, April.
  15. Easterly, William R., 1989. "Fiscal adjustment and deficit financing during the debt crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 138, The World Bank.
  16. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "Financial Globalization," IMF Working Papers 06/189, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Giovannini, Alberto & de Melo, Martha, 1993. "Government Revenue from Financial Repression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 953-63, September.
  18. Peter Montiel & Samir Jahjah, 2003. "Exchange Rate Policy and Debt Crises in Emerging Economies," IMF Working Papers 03/60, International Monetary Fund.
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