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The Burden Of Debt: An Exploration Of Interest Rate Behavior In Latin America

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  • LILIANA ROJAS-SUÁREZ
  • SEBASTIÁN SOTELO

Abstract

"What determines the behavior of interest rates in Latin America? Is the recent sharp reduction in rates in the region just a transitory deviation from much higher long-term rates? To answer these questions, this study raises two main hypotheses. First, external debt plays a central role in the sustainable behavior of domestic interest rates because it explains country risk. Second, country risk provides valuable information for predicting the behavior of exchange rate risk and not the other way around. Econometric tests confirm these hypotheses and lead to an important conclusion: unless important reforms (leading, for example, to improved tax-collecting capacity or deeper local financial markets) are undertaken, highly indebted/high country-risk economies will tend to be associated with high domestic interest rates." ("JEL" E43, G15, 016, 054, C22) Copyright 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Liliana Rojas-Suárez & Sebastián Sotelo, 2007. "The Burden Of Debt: An Exploration Of Interest Rate Behavior In Latin America," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 387-414, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:387-414
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    2. Hoe E. Khor & Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 1991. "Interest Rates in Mexico: The Role of Exchange Rate Expectations and International Creditworthiness," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 850-871, December.
    3. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 263-294.
    4. Sebastian Edwards, 1983. "LDC's Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 1172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sebastian Edwards, 1983. "LDC's Foreign Borrowing and Default Risk: An Empirical Investigation 1976-1980," UCLA Economics Working Papers 323, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Frenkel, Jacob A & Levich, Richard M, 1975. "Covered Interest Arbitrage: Unexploited Profits?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 325-338, April.
    7. Granger, Clive W J, 1986. "Developments in the Study of Cointegrated Economic Variables," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 213-228, August.
    8. Chinn, Menzie D., 2006. "The (partial) rehabilitation of interest rate parity in the floating rate era: Longer horizons, alternative expectations, and emerging markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 7-21, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liliana Rojas-Suárez & José María Serena, 2015. "Changes in funding patterns by Latin American banking systems:how large? how risky?," Working Papers 1521, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    2. Özcan Karahan & Olcay Çolak, 2012. "Does Uncovered Interest Rate Parity Hold in Turkey?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(4), pages 386-394.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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