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The Legitimate Repudiation of a Nation's Debts


  • Nicolaus Tideman

    (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)

  • Sharon Lockwood

    (American University)


There is a need for an impartial international tribunal to consider requests for approval of repudiations of developing nations' debts. At present, debt relief is available as largess from the "Paris Club" of creditor nations or the "London Club" of commercial banks, but a nation that is treated unfairly has only the recourse of unilateral repudiation, which is subject to bias from self-interest. There is no impartial forum in which disagreements can be adjudicated. This paper explores the legal principles that might justify approval of repudiations of such debts, thereby advancing both economic efficiency and social justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolaus Tideman & Sharon Lockwood, 1993. "The Legitimate Repudiation of a Nation's Debts," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 251-256, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:19:y:1993:i:3:p:251-256

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    JEL classification:

    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt


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