Why are there serial defaulters? Quasi-experimental evidence from Constitutions
AbstractPresidential democracies were 4.9 times more likely to default on external debts between 1976 and 2000 than parliamentary democracies. This paper argues that the explanation to the pattern of serial defaults among a number of sovereign borrowers lies in their constitutions (on serial defaults see Reinhart, Rogoff and Savastano (2003) and Reinhart and Rogoff (2004)). Ceteris paribus, parliamentary democracies are less likely to default on their liabilities as the confidence requirement creates a credible link between economic policies and the political survival of the executive. This link tends to strengthen the repayment commitment when politicians are opportunistic. I show that this effect is large and statistically significant in the contemporary world even when comparison is restricted to countries that are twins in terms of colonial origin, geography and economic variables. Moreover, the result persists if OECD democracies are excluded from the sample. Since the form of government of a country is typically chosen at the time of independence and highly persistent over time, constitutions can explain why debt policies in developing countries are related to individual histories.
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 ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London in its series WEF Working Papers with number 0003.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2006. "Why are there serial defaulters? Quasi-experimental evidence from Constitutions," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_010, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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.:
- North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
- Peter H. Lindert & Peter J. Morton, 1989.
"How Sovereign Debt Has Worked,"
in: Developing Country Debt and the World Economy, pages 225-236
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004.
"Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich-to-Poor Capital Flows,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 53-58, May.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Serial Default and the "Paradox" of Rich to Poor Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 10296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "Serial default and the “paradox” of rich to poor capital flows," MPRA Paper 13997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004.
"Do Institutions Cause Growth?,"
NBER Working Papers
10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?,"
NBER Working Papers
6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003.
NBER Working Papers
9908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661926, January.
- Enrica Detragiache & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Crises and Liquidity - Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 01/2, International Monetary Fund.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Do constitutions cause large governments? Quasi-experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 908-918, May.
- Gabriel Cuadra & Horacio Sapriza, 2006.
"Sovereign Default, Interest Rates and Political Uncertainty in Emerging Markets,"
2006-02, Banco de México.
- Cuadra, Gabriel & Sapriza, Horacio, 2008. "Sovereign default, interest rates and political uncertainty in emerging markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 78-88, September.
- Michael D. Bordo & Christopher M. Meissner, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth in the First Era of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 13577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger & Jeromin Zettelmeyer, 2009. "The Economics and Law of Sovereign Debt and Default," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 651-98, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tim Byne).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.