Sovereign Defaults: Information, Investment and Credit
AbstractWhy would a sovereign government, immune from bankruptcy procedures and with few assets that could be seized in the event of a default, ever repay foreign creditors? And, correspondingly, why do foreign creditors lend to sovereigns? This paper finds general conditions under which, even in the absence of sanctions, lending to sovereigns can emerge in a single shot game. Furthermore, it shows that positive borrowing can be sustained both in pooling and separating equilibria. In this way, it makes clear that neither sanctions nor reputation considerations, the two classical explanations, are necessary to enforce repayment. Information revelation is the crucial mechanism for these results. The repayment/default decision is interpreted as a signal used by the government to communicate information to domestic and foreign agents about the fundamentals of the economy. Governments repay to affect agents' expectations about them. A default, through its effect on expectations about fundamentals, can generate a decline in foreign and domestic investment and a credit crunch in domestic credit markets. Governments repay to avoid these costs, but may default (in equilibrium) when hit by a negative shock.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 21.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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sovereign debt; default; sanctions; reputation; information;
Other versions of this item:
- Sandleris, Guido, 2008. "Sovereign defaults: Information, investment and credit," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 267-275, December.
- Guido Sandleris, 2008. "Sovereign Defaults: Information, Investment and Credit," Business School Working Papers 2008-04, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
- F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
- G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-FIN-2005-12-01 (Finance)
- NEP-FMK-2005-12-01 (Financial Markets)
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