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Voluntary sovereign debt exchanges

  • Hatchondo, Juan Carlos
  • Martinez, Leonardo
  • Sosa Padilla, César

We show that some recent sovereign debt restructurings were characterized by (i) the absence of missed debt payments prior to the restructurings, (ii) reductions in the government's debt burden, and (iii) increases in the market value of debt claims for holders of the restructured debt. Since both the government and its creditors are likely to benefit from such restructurings, we label these episodes as “voluntary” debt exchanges. We present a model in which voluntary debt exchanges can occur in equilibrium when the debt level takes values above the one that maximizes the market value of debt claims. In contrast to previous studies on debt overhang, in our model opportunities for voluntary exchanges arise because a debt reduction implies a decline of the sovereign default risk. This is observed in the absence of any effect of debt reductions on future output levels. Although voluntary exchanges are Pareto improving at the time of the restructuring, we show that eliminating the possibility of conducting voluntary exchanges may improve welfare from an ex ante perspective. Thus, our results highlight a cost of initiatives that facilitate debt restructurings.

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

Volume (Year): 61 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 32-50

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:61:y:2014:i:c:p:32-50
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2013.11.002
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  1. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Cesar Sosa-Padilla, 2015. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," Caepr Working Papers 2015-012 Classification-, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  2. Yue, Vivian Z., 2010. "Sovereign default and debt renegotiation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 176-187, March.
  3. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Online Appendix to "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods"," Technical Appendices 08-133, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  4. Juan Jose Cruces & Marcos Buscaglia & Joaquin Alonso, 2002. "The Term Structure of Country Risk and Valuation in Emerging Markets," Working Papers 46, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Apr 2002.
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  7. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 1999. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: the role of interest rates," Department of Economics Working Papers 014, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  8. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
  10. Enderlein, Henrik & Trebesch, Christoph & von Daniels, Laura, 2012. "Sovereign debt disputes: A database on government coerciveness during debt crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 250-266.
  11. Juan J. Cruces & Christoph Trebesch, 2013. "Sovereign Defaults: The Price of Haircuts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 85-117, July.
  12. Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza & Juan Carlos Hatchondo, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models; solution methods matter," IMF Working Papers 10/100, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador & Gita Gopinath, 2009. "Investment Cycles and Sovereign Debt Overhang," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-31.
  14. Jeronimo Zettelmeyer & Federico Sturzenegger, 2005. "Haircuts; Estimating Investor Losses in Sovereign Debt Restructurings, 1998-2005," IMF Working Papers 05/137, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2013. "Sudden stops, time inconsistency, and the duration of sovereign debt," IMF Working Papers 13/174, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Martin Uribe & Vivian Z. Yue, 2003. "Country Spreads and Emerging Countries: Who Drives Whom?," NBER Working Papers 10018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
  18. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2009. "Long-duration bonds and sovereign defaults," Working Paper 08-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  19. Leonardo Martinez & Francisco Roch & Juan Hatchondo, 2015. "Fiscal rules and the sovereign default premium," 2015 Meeting Papers 1262, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2011. "Legal protection to foreign investors," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 2Q, pages 175-187.
  21. Froot, Kenneth A, 1989. "Buybacks, Exit Bonds, and the Optimality of Debt and Liquidity Relief," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(1), pages 49-70, February.
  22. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vivian Z. Yue, 2011. "A General Equilibrium Model of Sovereign Default and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 17151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
  26. Javier Díaz-Cassou & Aitor Erce-Domínguez & Juan J. Vázquez-Zamora, 2008. "Recent episodes of sovereign debt restructurings. A case-study approach," Occasional Papers 0804, Banco de España;Occasional Papers Homepage.
  27. Paul R. Krugman, 1988. "Market-Based Debt-Reduction Schemes," NBER Working Papers 2587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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