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Sovereign borrowing by developing countries: What determines market access?

  • Gelos, R. Gaston
  • Sahay, Ratna
  • Sandleris, Guido

What determines the ability of governments from developing countries to access international credit markets? We examine this question using detailed data on sovereign bond issuances and public syndicated bank loans between 1980 and 2000. A key finding of this paper is that the probability of market access is not influenced by a country's frequency of defaults, and that a default, if resolved quickly, does not reduce significantly the probability of tapping the markets. We also find that trade openness, a standard measure of a country's links with the rest of the world, and traditional liquidity and macroeconomic indicators do not help much in explaining market access. However, a country's vulnerability to shocks and the perceived quality of economic policies and institutions appear to influence the government's ability to tap the markets. We also document that the average exclusion from international credit markets following a default declined from four years in the 1980s to two years in the 1990s.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 243-254

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:83:y:2011:i:2:p:243-254
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