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The politics of sovereign defaults

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  • Juan Carlos Hatchondo
  • Leonardo Martinez

Abstract

In this article, we study the interplay between political factors and default decisions. First, we survey two branches of theoretical studies. One shows that governments may be willing to repay their debt because it is in the best interest of local agents with political power. The other one discusses how political turnover affects sovereign default risk. Second, we describe a large body of empirical studies that find evidence of the influence of political stability and other characteristics of a political system on default risk. Finally, we examine the role of political factors in five recent default episodes.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez, 2010. "The politics of sovereign defaults," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 3Q, pages 291-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2010:i:3q:p:291-317:n:v.96no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2006. "Defaultable debt, interest rates and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 64-83, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Alexander Guembel & Oren Sussman, 2009. "Sovereign Debt without Default Penalties," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1297-1320.
    4. Michael Tomz & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Do Countries Default in "Bad Times" ?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 352-360, 04-05.
    5. Cole, Harold L & Dow, James & English, William B, 1995. "Default, Settlement, and Signalling: Lending Resumption in a Reputational Model of Sovereign Debt," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 365-385, May.
    6. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(4), pages 919-933, October.
    7. Manuela Goretti, 2005. "The Brazilian currency turmoil of 2002: a nonlinear analysis," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 289-306.
    8. Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2010. "Sovereign risk: constitutions rule," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 62-85, January.
    9. Oren Sussman & Alexander Guembel, 2005. "Sovereign Debt Without Default Penalties," OFRC Working Papers Series 2005fe17, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
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    12. Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "The Politics of Intergenerational Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 335-357, April.
    13. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2007. "Liquidity and Expected Returns: Lessons from Emerging Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 1783-1831, November.
    14. Neumeyer, Pablo A. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Business cycles in emerging economies: the role of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 345-380, March.
    15. Brewer, Thomas L & Rivoli, Pietra, 1990. "Politics and Perceived Country Creditworthiness in International Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(3), pages 357-369, August.
    16. Alexander Guembel & Oren Sussman, 2009. "Sovereign Debt without Default Penalties," Post-Print halshs-00492531, HAL.
    17. Cristina Arellano, 2008. "Default Risk and Income Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 690-712, June.
    18. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & Horacio Sapriza, 2010. "Quantitative properties of sovereign default models: solution methods matter," Working Paper 10-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    19. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 2000. "Political Power and the Credibility of Government Debt," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 80-105, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:37-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Azzimonti, Marina & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2016. "The costs and benefits of balanced budget rules: Lessons from a political economy model of fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 45-61.
    3. Jørgen Bølstad & Christoph Elhardt, 2015. "To bail out or not to bail out? Crisis politics, credibility, and default risk in the Eurozone," European Union Politics, , vol. 16(3), pages 325-346, September.
    4. Scholl, Almuth, 2017. "The dynamics of sovereign default risk and political turnover," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 37-53.
    5. Timm M. Prein & Almuth Scholl, 2018. "The Impact of Bailouts on Political Turnover and Sovereign Default Risk," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2018-04, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    6. repec:trp:01jefa:jefa0007 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Marina Azzimonti-Renzo, 2013. "The political economy of balanced budget amendments," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 11-20.

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    Keywords

    Business cycles;

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